Softball Swept by Amherst in a Battle of Regionally Ranked Teams
Amherst, MA --- The Amherst softball team improved to 14-0 on the season, setting the program record for consecutive victories after sweeping a doubleheader with visiting WPI on Wednesday afternoon.
Taking the first game of the twinbill, 5-0, the Jeffs earned a thrilling 3-2, walk-off win in the nightcap to set the school record for longest win streak. Theresa Kelley (Los Angeles, CA), picked up both wins, improving to 8-0 on the year after tallying 20 strikeouts on the afternoon.
Both teams were ranked in this week's New England Intercollegiate Softball Coaches Association Top 10. Amherst was third while WPI (11-7) was ranked 10th.
Scoreless through three and a half innings of the opener, Amherst finally broke through in the home half of the fourth, pushing across a pair of runs on three hits. Reilly Horan (Darien, CT) led off the frame with a double to left, before advancing to third on an Idalia Friedson '15 (Trumbull, CT) sacrifice bunt.
With Horan on third with one out, Carolyn Miller (Leominster, MA) lifted a two-run shot over the left field fence to stake the Jeffs to a 2-0 edge. After inducing a fly out to center, WPI starter Allie Hardy (Leominster, MA) surrendered a double down the line to sophomore Arielle Doering (Branchburg, NJ) before getting Karina Kossler (Mission Viejo, CA) to ground out to second to end the Jeff threat.
Looking to respond, sophomore Lauren DiFelice (Acushnet, MA) drew a walk to lead off the fifth, before an Amherst error put two on with nobody out. Settling down, Kelley answered by striking out the side to keep the Engineer offense at bay.
Hoping to add to the tally, Kaitlin Silkowitz (Scarsdale, NY) led off the bottom of the inning with an infield single before stealing second to get into scoring position. Kelley then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Silkowitz to third, before first-year Donna Leet (Seattle, WA) doubled to left, driving in the game's third run.
Horan kept things going, making it 4-0 on a single to right before Hardy got Friedson to ground out to third and Miller to fly out to right to end the inning.
After Kelley notched two more strikeouts while retiring the side in order in the sixth, she helped her own cause in the bottom of the frame, lacing a two-out single to drive home Doering, capping off the scoring.
Horan went 3-for-3 on the day with an RBI and run scored, while Silkowitz finished 3-for-4. Miller and Doering had two hits apiece, while Kelley and Leet each notched an RBI.
DiFelice and Juliana Fekete (Belgrade, ME) recorded the Engineers' only hits of the day against Kelley, who moved to 7-0 on the year, while punching out a career-high 15 batters. Hardy allowed five runs on 12 hits in the loss, dropping to 4-5 on the year.
Wasting no time getting on the board, WPI jumped out to an early lead in the night cap, pushing across the game's first run on a pair of hits during the opening frame. Fekete led things off with a double, before advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt and scoring on a wild pitch.
Looking to respond in the bottom half of the inning, Kelley belted a one-out homer to centerfield, quickly pulling Amherst even.
With Doering settling in, retiring nine-straight WPI batters, Amherst momentarily took the lead in the fourth, when Horan scored from third on an Engineer error, but the visitors got a run right back in the fifth on junior Janelle MacLaughlin's (Lancaster, MA) one-out RBI single to center.
Recording the last out of the fifth after taking over for Doering, Kelley struck out the side the following inning before punching out two more batters in the top of the seventh to put the Jeffs in position to seal the win.
Silkowitz lead off the home half with a bunt single, before Kelley reached on an error that allowed Silkowitz to move to third. Starter Christa Coscia (Lakeville, MA) then got Leet to pop out to short before Horan lined a ball to second base. Trying to double the Jeffs up, WPI went to third, but the throw sailed high, allowing an alert Silkowitz to come home for the walk-off win.
Kossler, Doering, Sherwill, Friedson, Silkowitz and Kelley each had a hit in the win, with Kelley also notching her first roundtripper of the year. Fekete, MacLaughlin, Nicole McDonough (Abington, MA) and Allie Roche (Chelmford, MA) accounted for WPI's only hits.
Doering last four and two thirds, allowing two runs on four hits, while Kelley struck out five in two and a third innings to earn her eighth win. Coscia dropped her first game of the season, falling to 3-1 after surrendering three runs on six hits in six and two thirds innings.
Both team face rivals on Friday. WPI heads across Worcester to take on Clark in a doubleheader at 3pm while Amherst ventures to Williams for the opener of a three-game weekend series.
Release Courtesy Amherst Sports Information