Friedson, Kelley Lead Jeffs Past WPU, Plymouth State
Contact: Matthew Hart
CLERMONT, Fla. – Idalia Friedson ’15 picked up five hits on the day to help the Amherst College softball team to wins over William Paterson and Plymouth State at the NTC Games on Tuesday. Led by Friedson’s 4-for-4 performance, the team pounded 16 hits to beat the Pioneers, 9-5, in the opener before Theresa Kelley ’13 shut down the Panthers for a 2-1 nightcap triumph.
Amherst improved to 4-2 on the young season as the Jeff offense enjoyed its strongest day of the spring to date, totaling 24 hits over the two games and upping its team batting average to .337. Leading the onslaught have been Kaitlin Silkowitz ’14, Donna Leet ’15, Carolyn Miller ’14 and Friedson, with each currently hitting over .400 on the year.
It was the bottom of the lineup that proved especially potent against William Paterson (1-5) as the sixth through ninth spots in the order drove in seven of Amherst’s nine runs. With the teams scoreless in the top of the second, Sarah McKay ’16 delivered a two-out two-run single for her first collegiate hit before Alyssa Sherwill ’15 laced an RBI double in the fourth to make it 3-1.
With Arielle Doering ’14 keeping the Pioneer bats in check, the Jeffs blew things open with five in the fifth. Consecutive singles by Leet, Reilly Horan ’13 and Miller loaded the bases and Brianna Cook ’16 and Friedson kept up the hit parade, with each tagging two-run singles before Sherwill’s RBI groundout made it 8-1.
William Paterson staged the beginnings a comeback in the bottom half, solving Doering for four runs, but Kelley came in to shut the door then close out the win with a scoreless sixth and seventh for her second save of the year.
The workhorse senior’s day was hardly over, however, as Kelley returned to the rubber to start against Plymouth State and showed little evidence of fatigue. After surrendering a run the first, she settled into a groove and dominated a Panther squad that had beaten ninth-ranked Plattsburgh State, 3-2, on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Jeff offense gave her just enough run support as Horan evened the score with a suicide squeeze in the third, plating Leet after the sophomore outfielder had roped a triple to start the rally. Two innings later, Miller provided the decisive blow with an RBI double to drive in Horan and put Amherst up, 2-1.
With Kelley strong through six, things tightened in the top of the seventh as the Panthers put runners on first and second with one out. With her ace having now thrown over nine innings on the day, head coach Whitney Mollica Goldstein turned to rookie Nicolette Miranda ’16 and the first-year delivered with some help from the glove of Miller, as the junior third baseman made a diving stab to force out a runner then fielded another grounder and won the race to the bag, clinching the win as Miranda picked up her first collegiate save.
After a day off Wednesday, Amherst returns to action with a pair of games on Thursday, facing Framingham State at 9 a.m. before a 1 p.m. non-conference clash with Bowdoin.