Amherst Softball Shuts out Wesleyan to Notch Conference Sweep

Amherst Softball Shuts out Wesleyan to Notch Conference Sweep

AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College softball team improved to 12-3 on the season after they swept Wesleyan University in their three-game conference series after the Mammoths shut out the Cardinals 5-0 and 4-0 on Saturday afternoon at Amherst Softball Field.

The Mammoths will travel to Springfield College for their next match up, taking on the Pride in a non-conference double-header on April 3rd beginning at 3:30 PM and 5:30 PM. Wesleyan will be back in action on Wednesday as well when they host Eastern Connecticut State University at 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM.

Game 1: Amherst 5, Wesleyan 0

Sage Innerarity '21 opened the scoring for the Mammoths early in the first inning when she laced a shot down the left field line, scoring Nicole Trezza '21 from first base. Audrey Hansen '21 kept things going with a single to center field to advance Innerarity to third. Kate Kopatic '20 notched her first RBI in the game with sacrifice fly to right field, plating Innerarity. Hansen, who stole second and advanced to third on the fly out, crossed home on a wild pitch from Danielle Rinaldi.

In the top of the second, Wesleyan's Marina Williams singled to shortstop in their first at bat but the Cardinals were halted by the Mammoth defense, which limited them to only one hit on the inning. The Mammoths answered with two more runs in the bottom of the inning when Innerarity blasted a two run homer to left center field to put the team up 5-0 on the Cardinals. Innerarity finished with two hits and a game-high three RBIs.

Through the final five innings, neither side saw a player cross home plate. Amherst had a chance in the fourth when they accrued three hits on the inning through the likes of Alyson Plaman '21, Kyra Naftel '19, and Trezza. However, the Cardinals escaped and left two Mammoths on base.

With only one hit coming from the two sides in the fifth and sixth inning combined, the Cardinals saw their last chance in the top of the seventh but Kendall Carr, Brenna Monroe, and Williams all grounded out to solidify the second conference win for the Mammoths.

Trezza, Innerarity, and Naftel led Amherst with two hits apiece on the afternoon through the teams 24 at bats. Lorena Okanwa '19 received the win, moving to 4-2 on the season while Rinaldi falls to 3-4 on the year after allowing five hits and striking out one.

Game 2: Amherst 4, Wesleyan 0

The Mammoths secured the sweep after scoring once in the third inning and three times in the sixth. In the third, Naftel reached first on a walk and stole second before Amherst was able to grab the 1-0 edge with a sacrifice fly by Hansen. However, Gaffney-Gomez was able to force a ground ball to finish the inning.

After nabbing one hit in the fourth inning, the Mammoths saw an opportunity in the bottom of the fifth when Trezza had a bunt single and advanced to second on a ground out by Innerarity. Trezza reached third after Hansen singled to left field but Wesleyan finished the inning unscathed after Kopatic flied out to right field.

The Cardinals threatened in the top of the fifth when Maddie Ikeda walked and stole second, before Olivia Gorman walked, but Wesleyan was unable to plate a run. Bloxham limited the Cardinals to just four hits on the day with the Mammoths coming up with big plays including Naftel who snagged a shot up the middle and was able to throw out Sophia Sciarappa at first just in time.

Up one, the Purple & White created more separation in the sixth when they scored three runs on five hits. Sammy Salustri '19 and Andrea Sanders '20 notched back-to-back bunt singles to place runners on first and third with no outs. With the infield in, Ronnie Falasco '21 ripped a shot right at the third basemen that deflected away, bringing home Salustri. Sanders advanced to third on the play and reached home after a sacrifice fly to centerfield from Plaman. The final score of the inning came from a wild pitch that allowed Falasco to reach home.

A single from Gaffney-Gomez in the last inning wasn't enough to ignite a rally as the Cardinals grounded out twice and flied out to right field to end the three-game series. First-year Talia Bloxham '22 shuts out the Cardinals to secure her seventh win on the season. Gaffney-Gomez went five innings, giving up five hits to move to 4-6 overall this season.