Emphatic Offense Leads Mammoths to Doubleheader Sweep over Middlebury

Emphatic Offense Leads Mammoths to Doubleheader Sweep over Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Kyra Naftel '19 and Audrey Hansen '21 notched three RBIs apiece in game two while Sammy Salustri '22 totaled out at six hits on the day to help guide the Amherst softball team to a doubleheader sweep in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) West Division play on Saturday afternoon.

The Mammoths improved to 18-10 and 5-6 while the Panthers fall to 12-16 and 4-7 in conference. The two sides will cap off their series with game three tomorrow, April 28th, at 11:00 AM. 

Game 1: Amherst 4, Middlebury 1

In the opener, Amherst took a 1-0 lead in the second inning with an unearned run on a throwing error from the catcher. A walk and pair of singles loaded the bases for Annie Murphy '19 who reached on the fielder's choice with Virginia Ryan '22 scoring before Hansen was out at the plate to end the sequence. The Panthers were able to force a ground ball for the third out to get out of the inning.

 However, the Mammoths came back the following inning and scored two more run. Nicole Trezza '21 led off with a walk before Salustri singled through the right side. Trezza was able to score on a wild pitch while Katie Kopatic '20 followed up with the RBI single to put the Purple & White up 3-0 heading into the bottom of the third.

Middlebury got on the board in the bottom of the inning with Ally Doll who singled to left and later scored on a fielding error, making it a 3-1 game.

Three scoreless innings ensued before Amherst added an insurance run in the seventh. Julia Turner '19, Trezza, and Naftel all singled before Trezza reached home on a wild pitch, making it a 4-1 final.

Lorena Ukanwa '19 (8-5) picked up the win, allowing no earned runs and four hits with five strikeouts over seven innings. Sammy Salustri was 2-4 to pace the Mammoth hitters, while Nicole Trezza scored twice. Irene Margiotta (9-10) suffered the loss, allowing three earned runs with five strikeouts over seven innings. Jen McGann went 2-2 to lead the Panther hitters as the home team left eight runners on base.

Game 2: Amherst 12, Middlebury 4

Amherst jumped on the board early with three runs in the first inning of game two. Naftel doubled to left to drive in a run before Hansen plated another with a single through the left side. The Mammoths took a 3-0 lead when Salustri scored on a wild pitch to cap off the opening scoring.

Middlebury answered with a pair in the bottom of the inning to make it a 3-2 game. Sophia Marlino reached on an error and scored on a double down the left-field line by Melanie Mandell. Two batters later, Mandell scored on an error to third base.

Naftel continued her strong performance as she helped Amherst increased its lead to 5-2 in the second, hitting an RBI ground out before Salustri's run-scoring single through the left side. Talia Bloxham '22 struck out two of the three batters in the bottom of the inning to preserve the score line before the Panthers chipped away in the third as an RBI single to center by Liza Tarr and a sacrifice fly by Olivia Bravo made it a 5-4 game.

Amherst answered with three runs in the fourth, one earned, making it an 8-4 game before scoring three in the fifth, two on a two-run double to left center by Hansen.

Amherst made it a 12-4 contest with a run in the sixth off Naftel's third and final RBI on the afternoon. The Panthers loaded the bases but couldn't do any damage as the Mammoths walked away with the win after six innings of play.

Bloxham improved to 9-5 earned the win over five innings of work, allowing two earned runs with four strikeouts. Salustri went 4-5 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored, while Naftel was 2-3 with a double, three RBI and three runs scored. Trezza had a 3-4 game, scoring four times, while Hansen drove in three and went 2-5. Margiotta took the loss, moving to 9-11 on the season after allowing three earned runs over two innings.