WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Talia Bloxham '22 held Williams to four hits in the opening game of their New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) West Division match up but Amherst women's softball were edged 2-0 before the Ephs claimed game two with a 5-0 decision on Cole Field Sunday afternoon.
The Mammoths dropped to 16-10 overall and 3-6 in conference action as Williams extended their undefeated conference play to 9-0 and clinched the division title. Amherst will cap off their regular season with a road series against Middlebury College, beginning at 5:00 PM on Friday.
Game 1: Amherst 0, Williams 2
Bloxham only allowed four hits and one earned run in the first game of the doubleheader while also striking out two. The Ephs got on the board and took the lead for good in the fourth with a homerun by Mackenzie Murphy before Kirstin Mapes was hit by a pitch and an error on a force attempt at second allowed the runner to third with one out. Bloxham struck out the next batter but allowed Mapes to score on a wild pitch for the final score of the game.
Mammoth Sammy Salustri broke up Kirstin Duncan's no-hit bid with one-out in the sixth with a liner that just eluded a diving Jessica Kim at shortstop for a single. But Duncan struck out the next hitter and induced a groundout to third to end the inning. Three more groundouts in succession on the top of the seventh completed Duncan's effort. She allowed the one hit, walked four batters and struck out four to improve to 10-2 while Bloxham fell to 8-5.
Game 2: Amherst 0, Williams 5
In game two, a four-run fourth inning for Williams broke open a pitcher's duel between Mammoth Lorena Ukanwa and Mapes. The Ephs had taken a 1-0 lead in the second when Mapes was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a groundout by Gabi Medvene-Cirigliano. Casey Pelz then hit an RBI-double down the left-field line that scored Mapes for a 1-0 lead.
Nicole Trezza '21 recorded one of Amherst's three hits after beating out a single to third base in the first inning before she was thrown out on a fielder's choice at second base in the next at bat. After Kyra Naftel '19 stole second, the Ephs were able to escape after a line out from Salustri and ground out from Kate Kopatic '20 ended the inning.
Williams scored their final four runs in the bottom of the fourth on three hits and one error to give themselves a five-run advantage before Amherst's Annie Murphy led off the fifth with a single, but Mapes then retired the final nine batters she faced to close out the victory and improve to 5-0 on the season. She gave up only three hits and no runs while walking only two and striking out five. Ukanwa went the distance for Amherst as well, giving up seven hits and five runs, only one earned, while walking one and striking out one over six innings.