Jeffs Hold Off Hope after Geneseo Rally Falls Short
Contact: Matthew Hart
CLERMONT, Fla. – The Amherst College softball team split another pair of contests Monday on its second day of competition at the NTC Games. The Jeffs moved to 2-2 on the young season with a 6-5 win over Hope College following a 10-8 setback to SUNY Geneseo in the day’s opening game.
Arielle Doering ’14 and Alyssa Sherwill ’15 were two of the biggest heroes in the exciting nightcap triumph as Doering delivered 4.2 solid innings of relief work to earn the win and Sherwill came up big at the plate and with her glove. With the Jeffs clinging to a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth, the sophomore first baseman ripped a clutch line-drive single to left to plate a pair of crucial insurance runs, allowing Amherst to hold onto the win after the Flying Dutch (2-5) rallied to make it 6-5.
After Amherst grabbed a 1-0 first-inning lead on a Carolyn Miller ’14 RBI single, Sherwill prevented Hope from putting up a crooked number in the bottom half, diving to her right to stop a hard grounder then racing to the bag for the out as she stopped the Dutch at two runs in the frame. With Doering coming on in the second to relieve Caroline Sealander ’15, Amherst built its lead as Donna Leet ’15 and Brianna Cook ’16 ripped RBI doubles in the third and fourth, respectively, and Sherwill drove in her first of three runs with a groundout.
Miller finished the game 3-for-4 while Leet went 2-for-4. Doering struck out five and scattered three runs on four hits before Theresa Kelley ’13 came on for a one-two-three seventh to protect the one-run lead and pick up a save.
Another close game went against Amherst in the opener as a trademark 2-for-4 performance from Leet highlighted the back-and-forth battle with Geneseo (2-3). The Jeffs grabbed a lead in the third when Leet ripped an RBI single then beat the throw home on a squeeze bunt from Reilly Horan ’13. With Horan racing to third on the play, Miller drove her in with a sacrifice fly to put the Jeffs ahead, 4-3.
After Geneseo tied it in the top of the fourth, Leet delivered again, plating Kelsey Ayers ’15 with an RBI triple in the bottom half. But the Blue Knights broke through for four runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh, putting Amherst in a five-run hole heading into its final at-bat. Singles from Horan and Miller started things promisingly, however, and Cook kept it going, collecting two of her three RBI on the game with a big triple. Nicolette Miranda ’16 drove her in with a single in her first collegiate at-bat, but the rally would stop there as the Jeffs fell to their second Empire State opponent in as many games.
After costly errors in both games, Amherst will look to shore up its pitching and defense as it continues competition on Tuesday with a 9 a.m. tilt against William Paterson and an 11 a.m. battle with Plymouth State.