MIDDLETWON, Conn. – The Amherst College softball team, who were down one heading into the sixth inning, erupted for six runs to help lift themselves over Wesleyan University, 8-5, in their New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) opening game on Friday evening.
Amherst moves to 10-3 on the season while Wesleyan dropped to an even 8-8. The Mammoths and Cardinals are back at it tomorrow (March 30th) at 12:00 PM before capping off their final match at 2:00 PM.
Amherst showcased their dominant batting performance with six runs on seven hits in the sixth inning. With Sammy Salustri '19 on first base, Alyson Plaman '21 ignited the scoring spree by lacing a shot to right field to tie things back up at three apiece. The Mammoths took the lead again after Plaman stole third and was able to walk home when Kyra Naftel '19 struck a shot up the middle.
After a bunt single from Nicole Trezza '21, her and Naftel advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch before Audrey Hansen '21 recorded her second and third RBI on the night with a double to left center. Up 6-3, the Mammoths weren't finished as Kate Kopatic '20 reached first on an error by the shortstop which also scored Hansen. Kopatic capped off the scoring when she reached home on an error by the pitcher off of a bunt from Andrea Sanders '20.
In the first inning, Trezza led off with a bunt single before Sage Innerarity '22 and Hansen both flied out to right field. Kopatic singled through the left side and stole second to put runners in scoring position early. However, Lauren Gaffney-Gomez was able to thwart the Mammoths initial attack by striking out Ronnie Falasco '21 to leave two runners on base.
Amherst struck twice in the third inning when Innerarity reached second with a shot to left center field before she was brought home by a double from Hansen. With runners on first and second, Salustri stepped up and placed a hit through the right side to plate Hansen for the final score of the third.
The Cardinals were able to break through in the fourth on a three run, five hit inning led by Courtney Collins-Pisano and Olivia Gorman. A pair of singles began the rally for Wesleyan before a shot to center field was enough to notch the first point of the night for the home side, scoring Marina Williams. A bunt single from Maddie Ikeda kept things going before Gorman's single scored Alexis Campbell and Collins-Pisano. The Mammoths were able to escape on a pop fly to the first basemen.
The Cardinals were able to bring a pair back in the bottom of the seventh when Williams doubled to left center but it wasn't enough as they fell 8-5 to record their eighth loss on the season.
Talia Bloxham '22 gained her sixth win on the season after going six innings on nine hits and three runs, striking out two. Wesleyan's Gaffney-Gomez lost her fifth game on the year, giving up 12 hits and seven runs through 5.2 innings pitched.