AMHERST, Mass. – With the game tied at 2-2 heading into the final inning, Hamilton held on to thwart the Amherst softball team in game one of their series after posting four runs in the top of the seventh despite the Mammoths scoring three in their final at bat at Amherst Softball Field Friday evening.
The Mammoths suffer their fifth loss on the season and first in conference, moving to 16-5 overall while the Continentals improved to 20-6 and 3-4 in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action. The two sides will meet back at the field tomorrow, April 13th at 12:00 PM for game two of their series after Amherst softball honors their senior class.
With things tied heading into the final inning, the Continentals scored four runs on three hits and one error. Hamilton opened with a pair of singles before an error and a single through the left side brought home three runs. The away side concluded their scoring on the night after Lin was hit by a pitch, bringing home Vicky Dunn before a ground out led to the bottom of the inning.
After a pair of fly outs to the centerfield in the opening two batters, the Mammoths rallied to score three runs with two outs. Sanders walked and reached second on a wild pitch before an error and a walk had the bases loaded with Kyra Naftel '19 up at the plate. Her single to the second basewomen was enough to bring one run back for Amherst before a fielding error plated Scout Boynton '20 in the following at bat. The Purple & White came to within one after a muffed throw on Salustri's shot to the second basewomen plated Ronnie Falasco '21. However, the inning ended as Hansen laced a shot to Lin at second base, where she was able to hold onto it to end the game.
The Mammoths were first to strike when Andrea Sanders '20 was at bat in the first inning with bases loaded, notching their first two runs of the game when she ripped a shot over the head of the short stop to bring home Audrey Hansen '21 and Sammy Salustri '19. However, Morgan Hartranft escaped the inning after forcing Alyson Plaman '21 to fly out to the left fielder.
Lorena Ukanwa '19 anchored the defensive end for the following three innings as she went 1-2-3 in the second, third, and fourth innings. Of those nine batters faced, Ukanwa struck out four of them to preserve the Mammoths lead.
However, the breakthrough came for the Continentals in the top of the fifth when Anna Rasmussen reached on a fielder's choice as the Mammoths attempted to stop Ellie Demaree from reaching home from third, but were unsuccessful. Caroline Chivily followed Demaree and tied the game with a sacrifice fly to left field that was deep enough for Helen Lin to tag and score.
Hamilton threatened in the top of the six as well with runners on second and third with one out. The Mammoths infield came up huge after Sage Innerarity '22 caught a popped up bunt from Shelby McVey and then turned and threw out Ashleah Yzaguirre at third to end the inning.
Talia Bloxham '22 received her second loss on the season, moving to 8-2 while Claire O'Brien secured the win and improved to 4-1 overall. Morgan Hartranft, who started the game and reentered in the seventh, clinched the save on the night. Amherst had ten hits and three RBIs while Hamilton marked six hits and four RBIs.