AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College softball team had its four-game winning streak snapped at the hands of Trinity College Wednesday afternoon, as the visiting Bantams (18-8, 7-1 NESCAC East) handed the Lord Jeffs (15-12, 3-2 NESCAC West) a 6-4 loss in inter-divisional play. Trinity held a 5-0 lead after two innings, which proved to be too much for the hosts to overcome.
The Bantams—who have won 14 of their past 15 games—increased their wining streak against Amherst to five. The Lord Jeffs lead the all-time series, 13-8.
Trinity entered the game with a .320 team batting average (second in the NESCAC), and the Bantams kept their bats alive by chalking up 13 hits on the day while holding Amherst to six.
First-year starting pitcher Katherine Poulos earned the complete-game victory to improve to 6-3, allowing only one earned run in seven solid innings. Poulos struck out two and walked one.
Katherine Stoltenberg '11, Caroline Blanchard '13 and Nicole Nardella '11 strung together one-out singles to load the bases in the top of the first inning. After a grounder to second base allowed the Jeffs to get the force out at home, Kerry McCarthy '13 reached on an infield single to bring around one run, with an Amherst error giving the Bantams another run for an early 2-0 lead.
The Bantams added three runs in the second inning, with Stoltenberg belting a two-RBI double off the fence in left field. Nardella then made it a 5-0 game by bringing Stoltenberg home with a double down the right field line. Poulos, meanwhile, got into a rhythm for the visitors, sitting the Jeffs down in order in the bottom of the second and third innings.
Amherst senior tri-captain Emily Neill (Kentfield, CA) disrupted the Trinity pitchers' flow when she doubled to the gap in right center with one out in the fourth. First-year Reilly Horan (Darien, CT) followed by sending a line drive to right field that resulted in a two-base error. A Stephanie Clegg '12 (Woburn, MA) liner to right wasn't deep enough for a sacrifice fly, but the ensuing throw into the infield made its way to the backstop and allowed Neill to score from third, giving the Jeffs their first run of the game.
Trinity made it 6-1 in the sixth when Stoltenberg scored on a wild pitch, but Amherst responded with three runs in the bottom half of the frame to make things interesting. After shortstop Carly Dudzik '12 (Darien, CT) walked and Neill and Horan each singled to load the bases with one out, the Jeffs caught a break when Trinity tried to get a force out at home but threw the ball away. Sophomore catcher Annemarie Iker (Mill Valley, CA) brought the score to 6-4 when she singled through the right side to plate Horan.
That would be the final run of the game, however, as Amherst's comeback attempt fell short. Stoltenberg, Nardella, Patricia Cipicchio, Amelia Mostovoy and Melanie Orphanos each had two hits for Trinity, with Stoltenberg scoring two runs with a pair of RBIs.
The only Amherst player with multiple hits was Neill, who went 3-for-3 and scored two runs. Dudzik, Horan and Iker each finished 1-for-3.
Senior tri-captain Alex Chang-Graham (San Carlos, CA) took the loss for Amherst, dropping to 7-6 after pitching the first five innings. Only two of the runs she allowed were earned, as the Jeffs committed four errors on the day. Chang-Graham allowed 10 hits and struck out four. First-year Theresa Kelley (Los Angeles, CA) closed things out for Amherst, allowing one run on three hits in two innings of relief.
The Lord Jeffs will return to action Friday, Apr. 23, when they open a crucial three-game NESCAC West series by hosting Wesleyan University at 5 p.m. The Bantams will hit the road this weekend for a pivotal three-game NESCAC East series with Bowdoin College.