On Friday, the softball team was dealt its first loss of the season after falling 9-7 in the second game of a doubleheader against Keene State. Last Wednesday, however, the Jeffs earned two shutouts against Westfield State and are now 22-1 on the season — the best start in program history.
Pitching was the key against Westfield on Wednesday, as Arielle Doering ’14 and Theresa Kelley ’13 surrendered only five hits in the doubleheader. Kelley struck out 10 batters and allowed just three hits in the first seven innings, while Doering gave up two hits and struck out five batters in all five innings of the second game.
Amherst jumped out early in the opener with a homerun from sophomore Carolyn Miller that sent Reilly Horan ’13 around home plate to give the Jeffs a 2-0 lead in the second. First-year Kelsey Ayers added a run in the fifth after hitting a triple and coming home on a single from Kaitlin Silkowitz ’14. After stealing second and advancing to third on a ground out, the sophomore added another run for the Jeffs on a single from Horan.
Kelley made it 6-0 in the sixth inning with her third homerun of the season, bringing home captain Carly Dudzik after her one-out single put her on first. Miller closed out scoring in the seventh with her second run of the game on an RBI single. Miller and Horan both finished the game 2-for-4, while Ayers hit 2-for-3 with two triples.
The Jeffs opened scoring again in the second game with Ayers and classmate Donna Leet ’15 each tallying RBI doubles in the first. The second and third innings made the difference, however, as Amherst brought home five runs in each frame. Miller shined in the second with a three-run double, but the highlight came in the third on a grand slam from Leet that secured the Jeffs’ 12-0 victory. Leet finished 3-for-4 with five RBIs and three runs scored, while Miller added three of her own in the second game. Doering earned the victory in the second game, lowering her ERA to 1.38 and improving to 6-0 on the season. Kelley nabbed her 11th win of the season in the opener, bringing her ERA down to 0.75. The junior has tallied 44 strikeouts and just one walk in her past six games.
On Friday, Amherst snapped Keene State’s nine game win streak with a 4-2 win in the first game of a doubleheader, but the Owls rallied to hand the Jeffs their first loss of the season in the second.
Dudzik opened scoring in the first game after leading off the bottom of the third with a double to centerfield and coming home on a single from Ayers. Keene State regained the lead in the fourth after senior Laura Chandler belted a homer to left field, bringing home one of her teammates for the 2-1 lead.
Amherst found the equalizer in the fourth on an RBI single from Dudzik, followed by two runs in the fifth from Leet and Silkowitz. The Owls looked threatening in the final inning with runners on second and third, but Kelley finished with a strikeout to secure the 4-2 victory.
Looking to sweep the doubleheader, Amherst jumped out early in the second game with two runs in the first frame. Keene State battled back, however, putting up their first run in the third and adding five more in the fourth. The Owls extended their lead with three runs in the fifth for a 9-2 advantage over the Jeffs. Amherst managed one run in the fourth from Ayers, and the Jeffs cut their deficit to just two in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly from Ayers and RBI singles from Silkowitz and Leet. Neither team scored in the seventh inning, however, as the game ended 9-7 in Keene State’s favor.
Miller finished the second game 3-for-4 while Dudzik, Leet and Silkowitz all earned two hits. Dudzik finished 4-for-5 on the day with two walks. Kelley improved to 12-0 after closing out the first game, but Doering suffered her first loss of the season after surrendering six runs on six hits in three innings in the second.
Amherst hosts Western New England Univ. in a doubleheader this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. This weekend the Jeffs are on the road, taking on Hamilton.