Amherst, MA --- Two come from behind performances led to two walk-off wins for Amherst who earned a doubleheader sweep over the WPI softball team on Saturday afternoon. Megan Taketa (Redmond, WA) scored the game-winning run in both games for Amherst.
The Engineers (8-8) got out to early leads over Amherst in both games, but the Mammoths (8-2) were able to chip away at the lead and ultimately come away with both wins.
It took eight innings before Amherst edged the Engineers 3-2 to walk away with the game-one victory. With a runner on second base to start the inning, Randi Finkelstein (Merrick, NY) grounded out to shortstop advancing Taketa to third, and a sacrifice fly by Autumn Lee (Pacific, WA) to left field brought home the game-winning run.
Amherst got the ball rolling in the second inning as a two-run blast to left field from Jess Butler (Knightstown, IN) put the Mammoths on top early.
The Engineers evened the score in the fourth inning of action as Kelly Pritchard (Orange, CT) started things off with a hit by pitch. A couple of batters later, Alicia Salvalzo (Hudson, NH) laid down a bunt that drew an errant throw to first base, that got Salvalzo on base and advanced Pritchard to third. The leadoff hitter touched home one batter later via a sac fly from Jocelyn Diaz (Reedley, CA). Salvalzo stole second in the next at bat, and then came around to score after a double to left field by Kallie Case (Phoenix, AZ) to even the score at two-all and ultimately force extras.
Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) got the start, pitching the first four innings of action before Pritchard stepped into the game in the fifth. Sophia Togneri (Hudson, MA) finished out the game, pitching the final two innings of action. Dani Torres Werra (Merced, CA) got the start for Amherst, pitching the first five innings of action allowing two runs off of three hits, while also striking out six. Audrey Orlowski (Bentonville, AR) closed out the game, picking up the victory for Amherst allowing just one hit in three innings of action.
A three-run bottom of the seventh resulted in a come-from-behind victory for Amherst in game two, upending WPI 5-4 to complete the sweep. Butler drove in the walkoff, game-winning runs, singling through the right side to bring home Lee and the Taketa for the 5-4 victory.
Back-to-back one out singles, followed by a wild pitch put runners on second and third for Amherst, prompting a WPI pitching change. The Engineers walked Lee to load the bases, and a walk to Rachel Lovejoy (Atlanta, GA) brought home the Mammoths' third run of the game. Butler followed with her two-RBI single to close out the victory.
WPI attacked first in the first inning as a ground out to third got the first run across. The Engineers added to that total in the second inning with some plate patience with a bases loaded walk to make it a 2-0 game.
Amherst evened the score in the third inning with some small ball to put two runs on the board and create a new ball game. Neither team was able to score again until the top of the sixth inning when WPI put a pair of runs on the board as Salvalzo blasted a leadoff homerun to left field to start things off, followed by yet another roundtripper two batters later from Case, to make it a 4-2 game.
But the Mammoths never gave up, coming away with the 5-4 win in the bottom of the seventh.
Case and Salvalzo finished the day with three hits apiece while Shaina Lazarus (Thousand Oaks, CA) pitched 3.1 innings of relief action allowing two runs on two hits while striking out three.
Orlowski picked up her second victory of the day, closing out the game, yet again for Amherst, finishing out the last 1.2 innings and allowing just one hit and no runs.
Amherst is back in action on Wednesday, March 30 at 3pm with a doubleheader at Western New England while the Engineers will look to bounce back with a doubleheader at Worcester State also on March 30, but beginning at 4pm to close out the month of March.