Softball Takes Series Against NESCAC Rival Hamilton on Buechler’s Pitching
Issue   |   Tue, 04/12/2016 - 23:57
Amherst Athletics
Annie Murphy ’19 helped the team to a Friday win with her three-run homerun.

The Amherst softball team hosted Hamilton for a three-game series this weekend. During the week, the team enjoyed a reprieve from its packed schedule when its double-header against MCLA on Wednesday was canceled due to snow. Rejuvenated and strong from a week of practices, they faced Hamilton in the first of three games on Friday evening.

The three contests were played on the Amherst field, because Hamilton’s Clinton, New York field was too cold and snowy, but Hamilton batted as the home team. The purple and white’s first 10-2 victory went scoreless until the third inning, when Brianna Cook ’16 was sent across the plate. Runs were scored exclusively in the third and seventh innings of this game. The purple and white scored four in the third and six in the seventh on their way to the commanding victory.

Annie Murphy ’19 excelled at the plate this weekend, contributing a three-run homerun in the opening game. In the seventh inning, Sammy Salustri ’19 lit the fire when she reached first base safely on an error.

Salustri and Kyra Naftel ’19, reaching by way of a single, advanced when Cook sent a strong single to the outfield. Annie Apffel ’17, who batted 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, added a two-run double before Julia Turner ’19 took her place on second with a double of her own, sealing the win for the purple and white. Thanks to an Amherst error, the Continentals were able to add one last run in the final half inning before suffering the loss.

The two teams split the next afternoon’s double-header. Junior Jackie Buechler pitched the first game, which ended early, by mercy rule, in an 11-2 victory. Due to Buechler’s stellar performance, Hamilton was unable to score until the final inning. Amherst added a few runs throughout the beginning of the game, but broke out in the third, sending six runners across the plate.

Cook and Alena Marovitz ’17 walked and were joined by Lauren Tuiskula ’17, who batted a perfect 3-3 on the game, including a hit by a pitch. With the bases loaded, Murphy singled and Apffel hit a sacrifice fly to add two runs. Amherst took advantage of an illegal pitch to add another, and Salustri ripped a double to send two players home. Although Hamilton added two runs in the bottom of the last inning, they did not come close to challenging Amherst.

However, the roles were reversed in the second game of the day, which resulted in a 10-5 defeat for Amherst. Salustri scored to put Amherst ahead first, as they had been for the past two games. However, the purple and white were unable to score anyone in the next few innings, while Hamilton scored three times.

It seemed as though Amherst could have challenged the Continentals’ lead when Turner’s sacrifice fly scored Apffel and Ashleigh Rutherford ’16 took advantage of a Hamilton error to tie the game at three, but Hamilton refused to relent. They added seven more quick runs, including a home run in the fifth. Amherst added two more runs towards the end of the game but could not regain the lead.

The team is back in action on Wednesday, April 13, with a doubleheader at Smith.