With Two More Comebacks, Softball Clinches NESCAC Top Seed

With Two More Comebacks, Softball Clinches NESCAC Top Seed

CLINTON, N.Y. – Amherst College will host the 2018 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) softball tournament next weekend after a pair of wins on Saturday afternoon at Hamilton College secured them the number one seed in the West Division.

As they did on Friday night, Amherst had to come from behind in both of Saturday's games, but they did so to earn a 5-2 win in the first game and then exploded for an 18-5 victory in six innings of game two.

Game 1: Amherst 5, Hamilton 2

Ronnie Falasco '21 hit the first of two home runs on the day, a two-run shot in the top of the fifth to break a 2-2 tie and put Amherst ahead for good.

The Mammoths had taken a 1-0 lead on a bunt single by Julia Turner '18, but Hamilton grabbed the lead back with two runs in the bottom of the third on a two run single up the middle by Emily Fraser, who had a 2-3 day and was the only Continental with multiple hits in the game.

The comeback began in the top of the fourth when Alyson Plaman '21 drew a one-out walk and came around to score on a single to right center by Audrey Hansen '21.

Falasco, the next batter, launched her team-high fifth home run to right center. Amherst tacked on an insurance run in the sixth on a wild pitch that plated Scout Boynton '20.

Gina Pagan '18 went the distance for the Mammoths, improving to 11-4 on the year after a four-hit, six strikeout effort.

Game 2: Amherst 18, Hamilton 5 (6 inn.)

Kate Kopatic '20 drove in eight runs, including a three-run blast in the nine to cap the scoring. 

Trailing 3-2 after three innings, Amherst put up a five spot in the next two frames and then scored six runs in the sixth to record the run-rule victory.

The top four batters for Amherst had two hits apiece and Falasco scored four times and drove in four more runs, including a three-run shot in the top of the fifth.

Kopatic doubled home a pair of runs in the third to put Amherst on the board. Her batted ball to center field with the bases loaded scored three more runs and put Amherst aheaed 7-3.

Sammy Salustri '19 scored twice and drove in two runs and Kyra Naftel '19 was also 2-3 with a pair of runs scored. 

Right fielder Andrea Sanders '20 was on base three times and crossed the plate on each occasion.

Lorena Ukanwa '18 improved to 15-1 on the season with five innings of work, collecting six strikeouts. First year Emily Lachtara pitched a scoreless sixth inning.

Amherst (26-5, 10-1 NESCAC) will host Wesleyan University on Monday at 5:00 PM in a single game that has been rescheduled several times due to rain.