The women’s softball team extended its record-breaking win streak to 17 on Sunday with a doubleheader sweep of rival Williams to remain undefeated in the NESCAC. Last Friday, the Lord Jeffs used a late three-run homer to defeat the Ephs on the road, after grabbing both wins in a double header against Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Wednesday.
Amherst opened up scoring in the first game against WPI with a pair of runs in the fourth inning off a home run from sophomore Carolyn Miller. The Engineers looked to bounce back in the fifth after sophomore Lauren DiFelice drew a walk and an Amherst error put two on base with zero outs. But Theresa Kelley ’13 settled the Jeffs down, striking out all three batters to keep Amherst ahead.
In the bottom of the fifth a bunt from Kelley helped Kaitlin Silkowitz ’14 move into scoring position before a double from first-year Donna Leet gave the sophomore the chance to drive home the Jeffs’ third run of the game.
Reilly Horan ’13 maintained the team’s momentum on a single to right field, sending Leet home to make the score 4-0. Arielle Doering ’14 capped off the scoring in the bottom of the sixth with the help of a two-out single from Kelley to give Amherst the 5-0 victory.
Looking to split the series, WPI came out strong at the start of the second game with the a run in the top of the first inning. Amherst quickly tied things up, however, on a one-out homer from Kelley to centerfield.
Doering soon made her mark on the mound, retiring nine consecutive WPI batters and allowing Amherst to take the lead in the fourth with a run from Horan. The Engineers retaliated instantly in the fifth, however, finding the equalizer on a one-out RBI single from junior Janelle MacLaughlin.
Silkowitz led the bottom of the seventh with a bunt single before Kelley reached on an error to send her to third. Horan then hit the ball to second after Leet popped out to shortstop. WPI sent the ball to third to try and double the Jeffs up, but the throw went high as Silkowitz ran home for the walk-off victory.
Kelley improved to 8-0 on the season, picking up both wins after tallying 20 strikeouts in the doubleheader. The thrilling second game victory helped Amherst set the program record for longest win streak in history.
On Friday, the Lord Jeffs came from behind for a 5-2 victory against Williams College, earning their 15th consecutive victory and their first in NESCAC play. Amherst opened scoring in the top of the third after an error from the Ephs’ catcher allowed first-year Kelsey Ayers to come home for the Jeffs’ first run. Kelley struck out the side in the bottom of the second, retiring Williams’s first seven batters.
The Ephs’ tallied the equalizer after sophomore Ally Ensor hit a double and advanced to third on sacrifice bunt. Another bunt from her teammates would bring her home to tie the game at one.
A leadoff homer in the top of the fifth soon put Williams ahead, as the Jeffs replaced Kelley with Doering on the mound in the bottom half. The Ephs looked threatening as they loaded the bases, but a flyout to left field would end their chances for good.
Consecutive singles put Leet and Horan on base in the beginning of the sixth, putting them in perfect position to score on first-year Idalia Friedson’s homer to center field. Another homer from Kelley in the same inning secured the Jeff’s 5-2 victory.
The Jeffs capped off the weekend on Sunday with two home victories against the Ephs, marking the first time in 14 years that Amherst has swept its archrival Williams.
The two teams remained scoreless through the first four and a half innings, with both pitchers combined allowing only one runner to reach third base. Amherst ended the drought with six runs in the fifth inning, taking advantage of two errors by the Ephs.
Williams managed one run in the top of the sixth, but Kelley closed out the game with seven strikeouts, allowing only five hits the entire game.
Amherst’s momentum waned at the start of the second game, with Williams taking a 2-0 lead on a 2-RBI single in the first frame. But Leet and Miller quickly ignited the Jeffs with two RBI singles after exploiting a pair of Williams’ errors to put Amherst ahead, 3-2.
Williams took the lead again in the fourth inning with two runs from first-year Mo Frank and senior Allison Hart, before making it a 5-3 game on an RBI groundout in the fifth. The Ephs earned their sixth and final run of the game in the top of the seventh on a double from junior Amanda Correnti that sent teammate Ali Graebner around home plate.
After coming in for relief, Kelley struck out the only two batters she faced in the top of the seventh, setting the Jeffs up for a momentous bottom half. Silkowitz singled on a bunt before a double from Leet to left field allowed her to score Amherst’s fourth run of the game. Friedson then brought Leet home on a double to right field, as the Jeffs put runners on second and third with only one out. Miller recorded the winning hit with a single into left field, bringing home Horan and Friedson to give Amherst the thrilling 7-6 victory.
On Monday, two home runs and six RBIs from Leet led the Jeffs to a doubleheader sweep of Smith College. Amherst displayed its powerful offense on the afternoon, taking the first game, 12-4, before defeating the Pioneers, 18-2, in the second.
Horan tallied her 100th career hit in the first game, while Friedson helped the Jeffs in the second with a four-for-four performance off a homer, four RBIs and four runs. Kelley was named NESCAC Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season after leading Amherst to its longest win streak in program history this past weekend.
Amherst will face off with Westfield State in a doubleheader today at 3:30 p.m. before taking on Keene State at home on Friday.