Wesleyan Downs Amherst in Series Opener, 5-2

Courtesy of Wesleyan Sports Information

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Amherst College softball team continued its difficult stretch of conference play on Friday afternoon, dropping the opener of a three-game series at Little III and NESCAC West rival Wesleyan University, 5-2.

Absorbing their fifth consecutive setback in league play, the Jeffs (21-10, 3-7 NESCAC West) saw a five-game win streak against the Cardinals snapped as Wesleyan starter Su Pardo held Amherst to just five hits over seven innings.

Wesleyan (23-6, 6-1 NESCAC West) is now within one win of the school record for victories in a season of 24 set in 2010 and kept pace with Middlebury for first place in the NESCAC West.  Both teams are now 6-1 in league play as Middlebury defeated Williams today, 3-0.

Amherst jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the first on a screaming RBI double to left field by Reilly Horan ’13, her ninth two-bagger of the year. But Wesleyan responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good. Sophomore Jill Gately hit an equally hard double to left-center to bring in two runs as she tied the program mark for RBI in a season with 40. It was her 13th double of the year. Gately later scored on a throwing error to make it 3-1.

Single runs by Wesleyan in the second and third upped the margin to 5-1. A single up the middle by senior Allee Beatty brought in the fourth Cardinal run and a triple by freshman Amanda Roosa to right field and RBI grounder by junior Amy Lindland supplied Wesleyan with its final run.

Amherst got its only earned run of the game off Pardo, who struck out eight, when Kelsey Ayers ’15 twisted an RBI double just inside the left-field line in the fifth inning.

Theresa Kelley ’13 took the loss for Amherst, going three innings, as she fell to 13-4 on the season. Arielle Doering ’14 tossed the last three innings, giving up four hits and no runs with three strikeouts.

The teams will complete their series with a Senior Day doubleheader in Amherst on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m.