Softball Dominates Competition on Spring Break Trip, Moves to 9-1
Issue   |   Wed, 03/21/2018 - 00:30
Andrea Sanders ’20 is currently batting .500 and has played in all 10 games.

Over spring break, the Amherst softball team travelled to Clermont, Florida to compete in The Spring Games, the country’s largest college softball event.

The Mammoths got off to a quick start in the first day of action, topping Millikin University 6-3. Amherst relied on a big pitching performance from senior Gina Pagan, who threw seven innings and struck out five batters, allowing only four hits and three earned runs. Sophomore outfielder Andrea Sanders collected two hits and scored two runs, while first baseman Alyson Plaman ’21 also collected two hits, including an RBI double that scored Sanders in the fifth.

Amherst carried this momentum into the second game of the day, beating Suffolk University 5-3. Junior pitcher Lorena Ukanwa allowed five hits and three earned runs in six innings of work, while Pagan earned her first save of the year after holding Suffolk scoreless in the seventh. Kyra Naftel ’19 tied the game with a bunt-single in the fifth, and Amherst took the lead when Sanders had a two-RBI double in the bottom of the sixth. The double was one of two on the day for Sanders and was part of a three-hit, three-RBI game for her.

In the next day of action, Amherst beat both Westfield State University and the State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo by matching scores of 9-1. In the morning game against Westfield State, Sanders and Annie McCluskey ’20 each totaled three hits, while first-years Nicole Trezza, Ronnie Falasco and Plaman each racked up hits of their own, bringing the Mammoths’ overall total to 10.

In the afternoon game against SUNY Geneseo, catcher Kate Kopatic ’20 went 4-4 at the plate, driving in two runs and scoring two of her own. Additionally, senior Ally Kido and first-year Audrey Hansen each hit home runs to provide a big boost for the Amherst offense.

On day three of action, Amherst took on Pomona-Pitzer College and Roger Williams University. Against Pomona-Pitzer, Amherst jumped out to an early lead, as Naftel hit an RBI single and was later brought around to score on Kopatic’s two-run home run. Pagan was again dominant on the mound, throwing a complete game and allowing one run on nine hits while striking out eight in the 4-1 victory.

The game against Roger Williams was not as close, as Amherst needed only five innings to win the game 10-0. The Mammoths’ offense racked up 15 hits, with Sanders, who went 3-4 with three runs scored, and McCluskey, who finished 2-2 with four RBIs and two runs scored, leading the way. Ukanwa was masterful on the mound, throwing a complete-game one-hitter with nine strikeouts.

On day four of action, Amherst took on the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and Farleigh-Dickinson University (FDU). The Mammoths suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of UMass Dartmouth, as though Pagan pitched well, allowing just one run, the Amherst offense couldn’t put up any runs on the board and lost 1-0. However, the Mammoths bounced back in the afternoon game, beating FDU 7-2.

On the fifth and final day of competition, Amherst beat Lake Forest College 7-2 and Plymouth State University 2-0. In the game against Lake Forest, the Amherst offense was locked in at the plate, racking up 16 hits, and Pagan pitched a complete game.

Amherst concluded its Florida trip with the game against Plymouth State, in which Sanders and Sammy Salustri ’19 each collected two hits, while Naftel added one. Ukanwa improved her record to 5-0 by punching out seven batters in route to a complete-game, one-hit shutout.

Amherst next plays in a double-header home-opener on Friday, March 23 against Springfield College at 4 p.m.