MEDFORD, Mass. – Amherst softball advanced to the second round of the 2019 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Softball Championship after shutting out Bowdoin, 4-0, but were edged in their second round match up against Williams, 5-4, on Saturday evening.
The Mammoths moved to 20-11 on the season while Williams advanced to the NESCAC Championship where they have held the title for the last three years.
GAME 1: Amherst 4, Bowdoin 0
The Mammoths advanced to the second round of the championship after shutting out Bowdoin and limiting them to only two hits on the game. The two sides were deadlocked through six innings, only accumulating four hits total. The Mammoths threatened in the fifth inning after Ronnie Falasco '21 and Nicole Trezza '21 each singled and stole a base to place both runners in scoring position. However, Ruby Siltanen was able to force a ground out to get out of the inning.
The Mammoths were able to notch three runs in the top of the sixth on three hits. Sammy Salustri '19 led things off with a single up the middle before Audrey Hansen '21 walked and both advanced up after a wild pitch. Alyson Plaman '20 broke the scoring standstill with a single to the second basewoman, plating Salustri. Two batters later, Sage Innerarity '22 laced a shot to centerfield which brought home Plaman and Hansen.
Amherst defense went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the sixth before nabbing an insurance run in the top of seventh off of a double from Hansen that scored Kyra Naftel '19 who singled through the left side in her at bat, making it 4-0. Lorena Ukanwa '19 forced a ground out from Samantha Valdivia before Maddie Rouhana singled to left field. The Mammoths closed out the game and secured their spot in the semifinals after a fly out to centerfield and a ground out to the pitcher.
Ukanwa went seven innings, securing her 10th win on the season only allowing two hits and striking out nine. Siltanen received the loss after allowing six hits and three earned runs while the Mammoths capped off at eight hits on the game.
Game 2: Amherst 4, Williams 5
In their second round match up, the Ephs edged the Mammoths by one run through their four-run third inning. Williams got on the board early in the second off a sacrifice fly to centerfield from Gabi Medvene-Cirigliano. Up 1-0, the Ephs entered the third inning where Kirstin Mapes' double to left center scored two before a fielding error was enough to bring her home two batters later. The final score of the third came from Riley Salvo's RBI double to left center.
Amherst scored three runs in the fifth to come back to within two on the Ephs. Naftel walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch to lead off the inning before Innerarity walked as well. Andrea Sanders '20 had a bunt single to load the bases before Virginia Ryan '22 had a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Salustri singled through the left side in the next at bat before Hansen flied out to right field, deep enough to bring Innerarity home from third. To cap off the scoring in the fifth, Sanders stole home before the Mammoths grabbed another run back in the bottom of the sixth.
Annie Murphy '19 singled to left center and was brought home off of a double to right center from Innerarity. The Ephs escaped further scoring after Mapes struck out Julia Turner '19. The Mammoths were halted in their final at bat after Mackenzie Murphy came in and struck out two of the final three batters. Amherst finished with seven hits, three RBIs, and four runs while Williams advanced to the championship game off of eight hits, five runs, and four RBIs.