Softball Rights Ship after Losing Four Straight
Issue   |   Tue, 04/16/2013 - 22:51
Megan Robertson '15, Public Affairs Office
Sophomore Donna Leet has proved her rookie season success was no fluke, as she is currently batting .393 and leads her team with 31 RBIs.

After losing three games to archrival Williams over the weekend, women’s softball rebounded to post a 6-4 win over Wellesley on Monday. The team fought hard against the Ephs (10-15, 4-2 NESCAC), only to end up losing three close games by a total of four runs. Williams’ series sweep leaves the Lord Jeffs (19-9, 3-6 NESCAC) in serious danger of missing postseason play.

The Lord Jeffs opened the weekend by sending out ace Theresa Kelley ’13, and things started promisingly as the team put two on the board in the top of the first thanks to a Donna Leet ’15 two-run homer. Williams answered back, however, with two infield hits and a ground-rule double instantly tying things up. After another single put runners on first and second with nobody out, Kelley buckled down and the team recorded three crucial outs.

Amherst retook the lead in the third when Kelsey Ayers ’15 scored from second on a Leet single. The team had a golden opportunity to add to the lead in the fourth, but Carolyn Miller ’14 was thrown out at home in a wild play after a Williams fielding error.

The Ephs got to Kelley again in the fourth, chasing her from the game after a two-run single. Arielle Doering ’14 came on in relief and induced a groundout to end the inning, but the 4-3 lead would prove to be enough for Williams’ Emma Harrington ’15, who allowed just two hits after the third inning.

Brianna Cook ’16 gave the Jeffs hope by doubling to lead off the second, but Harrington stranded her at second with three straight outs.

The second game was a wide-open affair, as the Jeffs stormed back from a 6-3 deficit with a four-run fifth inning before the Ephs tied the game in the bottom half of the frame and ultimately won it with an unearned seventh-inning run. Amherst jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to three Williams errors, setting the tone for a sloppily-fielded game.

The Jeffs were fortunate to only be tied after the Ephs scored two but left the bases loaded in the second, and Williams took a 5-2 lead in the third, in part thanks to a two-error play that scored a run and put runners on second and third with nobody out.

The teams traded runs in the fourth inning, with Caroline Sealander ’15 coming in to relieve Doering. Cook scored for Amherst after leading off the inning with a double and stealing third, while Williams’ Erica Lee walked before stealing second and advancing to third on a throwing error.

Down 6-3, Amherst took advantage of a hit batsman and two hitters reaching on errors as Miller, Cook, Idalia Friedson ’15 and Sarah McKay ’16 all netted RBIs. Williams kept the game tied in the bottom half, and the score remained 7-7 heading into the seventh.

The Jeffs had a runner on second with nobody out but failed to punch her in, leaving the door open for Williams. The Ephs took advantage, as a fielding error in the outfield allowed the leadoff runner to make it to third, and she was batted in two hitters later to end the game.

In the series finale, Harrington once again stymied the Amherst bats, allowing nine hits but only two runs. Both teams stranded plenty of runners, and the Ephs left the bases loaded in consecutive innings.

Williams scored their runs in three consecutive innings, starting in the third with a one-run single.

The Ephs manufactured a run after the leadoff batter was hit by a pitch, and after a single loaded the bases Kelley came on to keep the Jeffs in the game with a strikeout and groundout. Kelley ran into trouble in the fifth but again induced a bases-loaded out, this time after three Ephs had crossed the plate.

Amherst got one run back in the fourth with two doubles, but lost the chance to do more damage after having two runners on with one out. Cook laced a double and was driven in in the sixth, making the final score 4-2.

The Jeffs broke their losing streak against a talented Wellesley team, mostly thanks to a huge six-hit, four-run first inning that saw the team record six singles. Kelley returned to her dominant form, going six innings and allowing three runs, two of them earned.

The Blue (19-9) chipped away at the lead with three one-run innings, pulling within one after a two-out throwing error to first extended the fourth inning and allowed a runner to score. The Jeffs found their insurance runs in the next frame, when Miller drove in two with a two-out single. Wellesley added one run in the seventh to make the final score 6-4.

At 3-6 in conference play, Amherst currently sits fourth in the NESCAC West, with only the top two teams making the tournament. The Jeffs wrap up conference play this weekend against Wesleyan, who sit tied atop the West with a 5-1 record.