Staff Stays Sharp as Jeffs Blank Hamilton in Opener, 3-0

Contact: Matthew Hart

AMHERST, Mass. – Theresa Kelley ’13 and Arielle Doering ’14 combined for a two-hit shutout as the Amherst College softball team won the opener of a three-game NESCAC West series with Hamilton, 3-0, on Friday evening.

Donna Leet ’15 went 2-for-3 with two RBI for Amherst, which improved to 17-5 (2-2 NESCAC West) heading into Saturday’s doubleheader with the Continentals. Melissa Kaknis ’13 and Ellie Kiernan ’15 had the lone hits for Hamilton (6-12, 0-4 NESCAC West) as Kelley improved to 10-1 on the year, surrendering just one hit and two walks through four innings while striking out seven. Doering came on for the final three frames, picking up her first save as she struck out six and walked none.

Kelly Leonard ’15 took the loss for Hamilton, giving up six hits and three runs (two earned) through six while striking out two and walking none.

Hamilton squandered a great scoring chance in the first as Kelley worked out of a bases-loaded, no out jam unscathed, inducing a fielder’s choice grounder to third then striking out back-to-back Continentals after two walks and an error had filled the sacks. Taking advantage, Amherst wasted no time getting on the board as Kelsey Ayers ’15 tripled over the right fielder’s head and Kailtin Silkowitz ’14 drove her in with a single past the drawn-in infield.

The Jeffs struck for two more in the third, beginning with a gift check-swing single by Caroline Sealander ’15. An error on Kelley’s sacrifice bunt put runners on first and second and Leet chased them both around, slicing an opposite-field double down the line in left for a 3-0 Amherst lead. Kelley kept the shutout going in the top of the fourth as she worked out of another jam, notching a key strikeout before Alyssa Sherwill ’15 made a nice running catch of a foul pop to retire the side after Hamilton put runners on second and third with one out.

In addition to singling in her first at-bat of the year, Doering was dominant on the mound over the final three innings, surrendering a leadoff hit to Kiernan in the fifth but retiring the next nine Continentals in order to finish off the win. The shutout marked the Jeffs' third in the last two days after blanking Smith in both ends of a non-conference twinbill on Thursday.

The teams will complete their weekend series with a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m.