AMHERST, Mass. -- The Amherst softball team was halted in their New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) doubleheader against Hamilton on Saturday afternoon, dropping to the Continentals 3-2 in game one and 5-3 in game two at Amherst Softball Field on senior day.
Prior to the opening pitch in game one, the Amherst softball team honored seniors Denise Noriega '19, Julia Turner '19, Sara Buck '19, Annie Murphy '19, Kyra Naftel '19, Sammy Salustri '19, and Lorena Ukanwa '19 for their contribution to the winningest class in program history as they entered their match up against Hamilton with a record of 103-37.
The Mammoths drop to 16-7 overall and break even in conference action (3-3) while the Continentals improved to 22-6 overall and 5-4 in NESCAC play.
Game 1: Amherst 2, Hamilton 3
The Continentals broke through to secure the first score of the game after a three run fourth inning that started with a single to right center from Liz Brautigam which brought around Ashleah Yzaguirre. After Brautigam stole second, Kendall Searcy stepped up and grounded out to Sammy Salustri '19, scoring Emily Fraser for their second run of the game.
The Mammoths answered in the bottom of the fourth with based loaded and two outs. Caitlin Berreitter '21 came into pitch for the Continentals and faced Alyson Plaman '21 in her first batter who got the Mammoths on the board with a shot to right center field that plated Emma Cape '22 and Audrey Hansen '21. Down one, Berreitter was able to force a pop up from Sage Innerarity '22 to end the inning.
The Mammoths made a defensive stand in the fifth inning with runners on second and third when Fraser flied out deep to right field with Chivily tagging at third. Nicole Trezza '21 caught it and rifled a perfect throw to the catcher for the double play, ending the inning and keeping the score locked at 3-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, Hamilton walked three consecutive batters to load the bases one out. The Continentals escaped after Kate Kopatic '20 popped out to the second basewomen and Andrea Sanders '20 grounded out to the pitcher for the final out of the inning.
The Continentals left two runners stranded in the top of the sixth as Ukanwa struck out Courtney Cardea looking and Anna Rasmussen popped up to short stop. Ukanwa made another stand in the top of the seventh when she struck out two of the three batters faced to remain down one heading into the Mammoths final at bat. The Continentals solidifed the win after three groundouts finished off the Purple & White who were limited to one hit on the game.
Game 2: Amherst 3, Hamilton 5
Kopatic led off the offense in the third with a single through the right side before Trezza walked and Hansen made it bases loaded with a single to right field. The Continentals walked two batters home and another scored on a wild pitch to hand the Mammoths the lead. Amherst were up 3-2 heading into the sixth inning but couldn't hold on as a two-run homer from Rasmussen put the Continentals on top for the remainder of the game.
A pair of doubles led to the opening score of the game for Hamilton as Lin got things started with a shot to left center before Searcy brought her home on another double to left center field. Chivily popped up to Salustri at second base to end the inning before the Continentals struck again in the top of the third through Ashleah Yzaguirre who notched her only RBI on the game, plating Berreitte.
After the homerun, Hamilton scored off an RBI single from Searcy before Amherst responded with two singles in the bottom half of the inning, placing runners on first and second with two outs. Molly Leitner finished off the inning after forcing a fly out from Murphy to center field to thwart the home side's momentum.
Heading into the final inning, the Continentals came close to scoring off a hit by pitch, fielder's choice, and a double to left center which placed runners in scoring position with two outs. However, Brautigam fouled out to Innerarity at third to halt the scoring chance for the away side before the Mammoths entered their final at bat of the weekend. The Purple & White threatened as Trezza reached on a throwing error by the pitcher and advanced to second after Hansen's single through the left side. However, Morgan Hartranft entered after Hansen's single and received an out due to a runners interference on Salustri's fielder's choice. Hartranft struck out Virginia Ryan '22 to cap off the weekend series between the two conference foes.
The Mammoths finished with three runs through seven hits and two RBIs while the Continentals accrued 10 hits through their 29 at bats. Ukanwa received her fourth loss on the season after allowing five runs through five innings pitched while Leitner maintained an unblemished 4-0 record without giving up a run on the afternoon.