Seven Run Fifth Inning Leads Mammoths to Shutout Over Middlebury

Seven Run Fifth Inning Leads Mammoths to Shutout Over Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY, Vermont – Amherst softball utilized a seven-run fifth inning on four singles and four doubles to help earn a 7-0 shutout victory over Middlebury in their NESCAC West series finale at Kohn Field. The Mammoths complete the sweep following 4-1 and 12-4 victories on Saturday.

The Purple & White cap off their regular season with a 19-10 overall record and 6-6 in conference while also claiming the No.3 seed in the West Division while Middlebury dropped to 12-17, 4-8 and earned the No. 4 West seed in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament. The Panthers return to action when they play the east's top seed and host Tufts on Friday at 2:30 p.m.

The first four innings featured a pitcher's duel between Lorena Ukanwa '19 and Middlebury's Irene Margiotta, as Marigotta allowed just two hits and Ukawna one.

The Mammoths provided all of the scoring in the top of the fifth. Following a groundout, Alyson Plaman '21 singled and Annie Murphy '19 laid down a bunt single, before a fielder's choice put runners on the corners with two outs. Nicole Trezza '21 singled on a slow roller to shortstop, before Kyra Naftel '19 roped a double to left center, scoring Trezza and Andrea Sanders '20. A throwing error allowed the fourth run to score, before back-to-back run-scoring doubles from Audrey Hansen '21 and Virginia Ryan '22 made the score 6-0. A base hit through the right side from Plaman pushed the advantage to 7-0.

Middlebury had a leadoff single from Melanie Mandell in the seventh, but a highlight-reel double play erased her off the base paths. Jen McGann singled through the left side with two outs, but relief pitcher Danica Peterson '22 tallied a strikeout for the final 7-0 score.

Ukanwa (9-5) picked up the win, allowing just a second-inning single by Ruschil over six innings of work with three strikeouts and a walk, while Peterson allowed two hits with a strikeout in the seventh. Sammy Salustri was 2-4 with a run scored to pace the Mammoth hitters, while Plaman also went 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Naftel went 1-3 with a double, two RBI and a run scored, while Sanders had a triple.

Mandell, Noelle Ruchil and McGann each had singles for the Panthers. Margiotta (9-12) suffered the loss, allowing three earned runs with a pair of strikeouts over seven innings.