Jeffs Blank Smith, 1-0 and 8-0, for Doubleheader Sweep

Contact: Matthew Hart

AMHERST, Mass. – Theresa Kelley ’13, Arielle Doering ’14 and Caroline Sealander ’15 combined to throw 13 shutout innings and Donna Leet '15 delivered a pair of game-ending hits as the Amherst College softball team swept a non-conference doubleheader with local rival Smith College on Thursday, winning the opener 1-0 in eight innings before an 8-0 five-inning triumph in the nightcap.

Kelley dominated the first game, pitching all eight innings for Amherst (16-5) and striking out 13 while scattering four hits. Gina Martucci ’16 was nearly as effective for the Pioneers (4-12) as she fanned five and walked none over the first seven frames, but Leet drove in Kaitlin Silkowitz ’14 with the winning run in the eighth to deliver the Jeffs the walk-off victory. Leet continued her hot hitting in the second game, going 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI to help make a winner of Doering, who gave up just two hits through four before Sealander pitched a shutout fifth.

In the opener, Amherst couldn’t capitalize on its early scoring opportunities, stranding a pair of runners in both the third and fourth innings as Martucci matched Kelley zero for zero. The Smith hurler nearly broke up the shutout with her bat in the top of the sixth when she followed a Tori Brown ’16 single with a two-out double off the base of the left field wall. Idalia Friedson ’15 got the ball in quickly for Amherst, however, halting Brown at third before first baseman Alyssa Sherwill ’15 made a sliding catch on a Brittany Purington ’13 foul pop to retire the side.

Sealander led off the bottom of the seventh with a single for Amherst, but Martucci retired the next three to force extra innings. With Kelley working a one-two-three top of the eighth, the Jeffs finally broke through in the bottom half as Silkowitz led off with a single before stealing second and racing home on Leet’s game-winning liner up the middle.

Silkowitz was 2-for-4 in the opener while Carolyn Miller ’14 turned in a 2-for-3 performance. Brown was the lone Pioneer with multiple hits off of Kelley, going 2-for-3.

The Jeffs needed fewer innings to find the runs column in the nightcap. After Doering and Smith starter Joanna Giordano ’16 traded zeros for the first two frames, Amherst broke through in the third, beginning when Silkowitz walked, stole second and raced home on Leet’s double to deep left. After Reilly Horan ’13 drew a walk, Leet scored from the third when the senior co-captain stole second and the Smith throw behind Leet glanced off Brown’s glove and into left field. Horan then beat the throw home on Friedson’s grounder to short before Sherwill’s RBI groundout and a run-scoring single by Sarah McKay ’16 capped the five-run frame.

With Kristina Gaffny ’16 replacing Giordano on the mound, the Jeffs tacked on another in the fourth when Leet led off with a single and eventually came home after Brianna Cook ’16 singled then worked a rundown between first and second long enough for Leet to scamper home. An inning later, McKay ripped another RBI single before Leet plated her with a drive to right to make it 8-0 and enforce the five-inning mercy rule.

Friedson was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI while McKay also went 2-for-3, scoring a run and driving in two. Kelsey Ayers ’15 was the final Jeff with multiple hits in the nightcap, going 2-for-4, while Caroline Kushner ’16 and Brown were the only Pioneers to register hits against Doering and Sealander. Giordano took the loss for the visitors, yielding five runs on five hits and four walks through three innings before Gaffny pitched the final 1.2 frames, surrendering three runs on seven hits.

Amherst will be back in action on Friday, beginning a three-game NESCAC West series against Hamilton with a single seven-inning game at 5 p.m.