In Season Finale, Softball Splits Double Header; Jeffs Searching for At-Large Bid after Missing NESCACs
Issue   |   Tue, 04/30/2013 - 19:43

Softball wrapped up their regular season in dramatic fashion, scoring eight runs in the top of the seventh to beat Keene State in the nightcap of a doubleheader. The team fell to the Owls 5-3 in the early game and crushed Elms earlier in the week to end up with a 24-12 record.

The Jeffs jumped all over Elms in the midweek game, scoring nine runs in the first three innings before adding one in the fifth to invoke the mercy rule in their final home game. Caroline Sealander ’15 held the Blazers to three hits for a complete-game, 10-2 victory.

Amherst started the scoring in the first frame, as Kelsey Ayers ’15 walked, eventually scoring on a Donna Leet ’15 single after being bunted over to second. The bats came alive with two outs and nobody on in the second, as the Jeffs used five straight hits to put up four runs.

Elms used a triple and a sacrifice fly to put up two runs in the top of the third, but the Jeffs kept coming in the bottom of the frame, using two errors to their advantage in another four-run inning. Reilly Horan ’13 used aggressive baserunning to start the scoring, while Ayers cleared the bases with a two-RBI triple later in the inning.

After a scoreless fourth, Sealander led off the bottom of the fifth by reaching on an error. Arielle Doering ’14 came in to pinchrun, advancing to second and eventually scoring on a Kaitlin Silkowitz ’14 single to end the game.

Keene State (20-13) proved a much sterner test, taking the first game despite a late Amherst rally. The Jeffs struck first, as Silkowitz reached on an error, stole second, and came around to score on a Horan single.

The Jeffs threatened to add to their lead with two on and one out, but the Owls’s pitcher induced a popout and a strikeout to end the inning.

Keene State scored two in the bottom of the frame thanks to two hit batsmen, a bases-loaded walk and a fielder’s choice at third with the bases still loaded. The Owls wrapped up their scoring in the fourth, using a barrage of singles to plate three before Theresa Kelley ’13 came on in relief of Doering. Kelley struck out two, the second strikeout coming with the bases loaded, to prevent further damage.

After a relatively quick two innings, the Jeffs mounted a comeback in large part thanks to Keene State errors. Ayers singled with one out and advanced to second on a throwing error, and Silkowitz reached first on a comebacker misplayed by the pitcher. Leet drove in Ayers and Silkowitz scored on a passed ball before two flyouts ended the team’s chances.

Amherst took a 5-0 lead in the second game, trailed 8-5 after four innings and ended up winning 15-10 in a wild game. The Jeffs started their scoring with one run in the second and added four in the third inning. Brianna Cook ’16 picked up two RBI’s with a double, and Sealander drove her in with a two-run homer.

The Owls responded in the bottom half of the inning, starting the frame with two singles. The Jeffs got the lead runner at third in a fielder’s choice, but another single and a fielder’s choice added a run. Two straight doubles did the inning’s real damage, adding three more runs.

Sealander took over for Kelley on the hill in the fourth, but the sophomore lasted just two-thirds of an inning. The Owls quickly loaded the bases and scored thanks to a single and a fielder’s choice, and the Jeff defense allowed two hitters to reach on errors. Kelley re-entered the game and recorded a strikeout to end the inning.

The Jeffs chipped away at the lead in the fifth. Horan and Sealander walked, and Sarah McKay ’16 drove them in with a double. The Owls escaped the inning without further damage thanks to three straight outs.

The team’s seventh inning actually began with an out, but the next Jeff batters reached base. Horan contributed two RBIs with a single, as plenty of base runners scored on fielder’s choices.

Suddenly down seven, Keene State gamely rallied to put up two in their last half-inning. However, Kelley, pitching for potentially the last time for the Jeffs, ended the game by inducing a flyout and a groundout.

With just four teams competing in the NESCAC Championship, the Jeffs failed to make the tournament and will look for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.