Softball Picks Up Six Wins
Issue   |   Tue, 04/09/2013 - 21:32

Softball took care of business during a busy end-of-week stretch, going 6-1 over four days to improve their record to 18-6. The Lord Jeffs swept doubleheaders against Westfield State and Smith and before winning two out of three against Hamilton.

Strong individual performances highlighted Wednesday’s doubleheader with Westfield State, as Theresa Kelley ’13 and Arielle Doering ’14 dominated in their respective complete-games and received offensive support from a number of clutch extra-base hits. Kelley shut down the Owls, striking out 12 and allowing just one run, a seventh-inning solo home run, en route to a 4-1 victory. The pitcher also helped her own cause at the plate, hitting a two-run homer in the sixth for some insurance.

After being held to two hits over the first three innings, the Jeffs came alive when Reilly Horan ’13 ripped a triple and was promptly driven in by a Carolyn Miller ’14 single. Caroline Sealander ’15 added to the tally by leading off the fifth with a homer.

Amherst took an early lead in the second game and built up enough of a cushion to withstand a three-run sixth inning from the Owls in a 5-3 victory.

The Jeffs got on the board when Horan led off the second with a homer, and Horan led off the fourth with a double.

Sealander reached on an error, and after she stole second pinch-hitter Brianna Cook ’16 drove both runners in with a double. Roles were reversed in the fifth, as Horan capped off the Amherst scoring with a deep two-RBI double of her own off the fence.

Westfield State’s comeback bid, aided by two defensive errors, fell short as Doering worked through a jam.

Amherst’s pitching was masterful against Smith, keeping the Lord Jeffs in the game during a 1-0 extra-inning triumph and then continuing to shut down the Pioneer bats in the 8-0 nightcap. Kelley went the distance in the opener, spreading four hits over eight innings while striking out 13 in a pitchers’ duel.

The Jeffs managed eight hits but couldn’t string anything together, stranding seven runners on base.

The winning run came quickly in the extra inning. Kaitlin Silkowitz ’14 led off with a single and stole second before scoring on a Donna Leet ’15 single.

Things came easier for the offense in the second game, highlighted by a five-run third. The Jeffs managed just three hits in the frame but were aggressive on the basepaths, scoring one run on a throwing error when Horan successfully stole second and the Smith catcher attempted to throw behind the runner at third.

After manufacturing a run in the fourth with two singles and a two-out rundown between first and second to let Leet score from third, the Jeffs had the mercy rule in sight, and they reached it with two outs in the fifth. Four straight singles to lead off the frame put the Jeffs up 7-0 with the bases loaded and Leet singled to end the game.

The first two games against Hamilton saw more of the same for Amherst, with the Jeffs two-hitting and then three-hitting the Continentals. In the opener, a 3-0 victory, Kelley worked the first four innings before handing the ball off to Doering to close the game out. The second game, an 11-2 mercy-rule victory, had Kelley starting again and first-year Nicolette Miranda coming on to throw two innings of scoreless relief.

The Jeffs looked to be in deep trouble to start the first game, as Kelley walked two and misplayed a bunt to load the bases with no outs. She quickly settled down, however, getting an out at home off of a grounder to third and then striking out two in a row.

On the offensive side, Kelsey Ayers ’15 started things off with a first-inning leadoff triple and was promptly driven in by Silkowitz. The Jeffs would strike one more time in the third, when Sealander singled, Kelley reached on an error, and Leet cleared the bases with a double.

The Jeffs effectively ended the second game in the third inning, when they drove in six runs after an explosive second inning that featured three home runs. Horan was responsible for the first long ball, and after two doubles drove in another run Sealander got in on the act with a two-run shot.

The third began with a barrage of singles, driving in one run and loading the bases. Sealander cleared the bases with a double, Sherwill drove her in with a double, and Silkowitz added the last run with a triple.

The series finale was a slugfest for both teams and the Continentals prevailed 13-7.

With the series victory, the Jeffs sit at 3-3 in the NESCAC West division with series against Williams and Wesleyan remaining. The team returns to action Friday at home against Williams before traveling to Williamstown to play two against the Ephs on Saturday.