Softball Improves Record to 12-4
Issue   |   Tue, 04/08/2014 - 22:25

Two weeks into conference play, the Amherst softball team (12-4 overall and 3-2 in NESCAC) stretched its win streak to five games, beating Wesleyan in back to back contests the weekend of March 28, before dropping a three-game series to Middlebury this past weekend.

Though the team was originally scheduled to play home games, poor weather conditions moved the Wesleyan series to Middletown, Conn.

“Despite the rain, the team was so pumped to be starting off conference play,” senior co-captain Kaitlin Silkowitz said.
A little rain couldn’t cool off Silkowitz’s bat either. Continuing her hot streak at the plate, she doubled down the left-field line in the bottom of the first and would eventually score to put Amherst ahead 1-0. Adding five more runs in the bottom of the second, the Jeffs pulled away with a comfortable 6-0 lead. Wesleyan was held scoreless until the top of the third when the Cardinals knocked in one run. The Jeffs responded as junior Donna Leet fired a deep drive off the left field fence, bringing home two RBI and upping the margin to 8-1.

First-year Jackie Buechler tossed the complete game, surrendering only six hits and two runs, while striking out four. Leet and Silkowitz led the Jeffs’ offense, both going 2-for-3 at the plate. Sarah McKay ’16 chipped in two hits in her two at-bats, while Kelsey Ayers ’15 finished with two RBI.

The next day, the Amherst bats continued to stay alive, as the team recorded 17 hits en route to a 13-4 victory over Wesleyan.
Senior co-captain Carolyn Miller led all batters in the first game going 4-for-4, while Leet followed up her previous day’s performance, going 3-for-4 with three RBI. Silkowitz followed suit with a perfect day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBI. Impressively, the rest of Amherst’s lineup all contributed with at least one hit. Senior co-captain Arielle Doering clinched the win on the mound and improved to 4-0 on the season.

This past weekend, Amherst battled it out against Middlebury in three contests. The Jeffs’ five-game winning streak skidded to a halt with a 1-0 loss to the Panthers. Truly a battle at the mound, Middlebury senior Elizabeth Morris pitched a phenomenal game, retiring 14-consecutive batters and striking out five. Buechler countered with some great pitching of her own, but the Lord Jeffs offense couldn’t find its stride.

“Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to a pitcher who has a killer game” Silkowitz said. “Jackie pitched great, and a 1-0 game is always a tough one to lose.”

Closing out a three-game weekend against Middlebury, the Jeffs split the doubleheader on Sunday. After dropping the first game 4-1, the Jeffs rallied to a 6-1 victory in their second of the day.

In the 4-1 loss, the Jeffs offense struggled to produce runs. However, Annie Apffel ’17 had a lead-off homerun in the bottom of the third. Sophomore Brianna Cook led the offense going 3-for-3, while Leet, Silkowitz and Ayers all recorded one hit apiece.
“We had runners in scoring position almost every inning but couldn’t seem to get those clutch hits to bring them in,” Silkowitz said on the loss.

After back-to-back losses, Amherst responded by returning to their impressive batting performance. In the second inning, Nicolette Miranda ’16 ignited the Amherst offense with a two-out single. Miller was able to cross the plate on a Panther error and the Jeffs never looked back. In the bottom of the third, Alyssa Sherwill ’15 hit an RBI single, while Miller knocked in Leet to add to the scoring.

Buechler hurled another complete game in the Amherst victory, allowing only six hits, and struck out two.

“Softball is all about having a short memory, and the third game required us to forget about what had just happened and go in thinking we were going to win” Silkowitz said.

Amherst will return to conference action on Friday at 5 p.m. against currently undefeated Williams. The archrivals will then face-off in a doubleheader on Sunday at home starting at noon.

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