Softball Loses Williams Series
Issue   |   Wed, 04/16/2014 - 00:52

The Amherst softball team beat MCLA twice and Williams once en route to a 3-2 record over the past week.

Cruising to a two-game sweep over non-conference opponent, MCLA, the Jeffs defeated the Trailblazers 11-3 (six innings) and 12-0 (five innings). In the first game of the double-header, the Jeffs secured an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning and never looked back, later extending the lead to 6-0.

Senior captain Kaitlin Silkowitz and junior Kelsey Ayers led the team with three hits each, going 3-for-5 with two RBI. The Amherst offense combined for a total of 16 hits and 10 RBI. Captain Arielle Doering ’14 captured the win on the mound, improving to 5-1 on the season, allowing only three runs on five hits and striking out six.

In game two, Amherst continued in the same decisive fashion. After two innings, Amherst jumped out to an early 6-0 lead. Posting runs in all five innings, the Jeffs pulled away to secure a 12-0 victory, outhitting the Trailblazers, 15-2.

Donna Leet ’15 and Ayers again posted impressive batting statistics. Going 3-for-4, Ayers had one RBI and scored four runs. Leet posted a double and a triple to go 3-for-4 at the plate, knocking in three RBI with three runs. Silkowitz recorded a perfect 2-for-2 showing at the plate with two runs scored. First-year pitcher Lauren Tuiskula tossed a complete game allowing only two hits and striking out nine.

Against archrival Williams, the Jeffs did not fare as well, finishing the three-game series 1-2. Williams posted two runs after the opening frame of Friday’s game, but Amherst refused defeat. In the top of the third, the Jeffs scored three runs. Adding to the margin, Amherst plated five more in the top of the fourth before inclement weather halted the game. Returning to action on Saturday morning, Amherst logged five more runs in the tops of the sixth en route to a 13-2 win. Brianna Cook ’16 led the Amherst offense with a three-run home run, and Leet had a two-run homer as well. Jackie Buechler ’17 hurled a complete game, giving up only two runs on five hits.

“In all three of those wins, our energy level as a team was unprecedented. We started off and stayed fired up, using each other’s at bats and defensive plays to fuel our energy. Even after tough innings, we stayed focused and aggressive both mentally and physically to pull through it,” said Miranda of the three consecutive victories.

However, Amherst lost both games of the doubleheader the following day. In game one, the Ephs jumped to an early 2-0 lead and added two more in the second. In the bottom of the third, the Jeffs found their way on the scoreboard, as Silkowitz made her way to first on an Ephs error. Ayers drove her to the plate on a single to left field, and she and Leet recorded the only hits in the game for the Jeffs.

The Jeffs suffered a tough 2-3 loss in game two. Williams scored first in the top of the third inning, but Amherst responded in the bottom of the third on an Ayers infield single. Ayers reached second on a wild pitch, and Leet drove her home on a shot to center field. She too would eventually score on Cook’s two-out single.

Heading into the top of the seventh with a tied ballgame, the Ephs drove home a run with a sacrifice fly. Down by one in the seventh, the Jeffs looked to bring in the winning run. Silkowitz singled with one out, but the Jeffs failed to capitalize and fell short of topping the Ephs.

“Getting the top of the lineup on bases is crucial for our team, which is good because once we have those runners on, we tend to build off of it. It can also be a disadvantage if we don’t get those runners on. I think that’s part of what happened in those two Williams games,” Leet commented.

Amherst looks ahead to a week of non-conference play as they take on Wellesley, Smith and Keene State.