Jeffs Split Senior Day Twinbill with Wesleyan
Contact: Matthew Hart
AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College softball team split its final NESCAC West doubleheader of the season on Saturday, beating Little III rival Wesleyan University 7-5 in the opener as Carolyn Miller ’14 went 2-for-4 with a home run and 3 RBIs, but falling victim to a five-inning one-hit shutout by Cardinal first-year Su Pardo as the visitors took the shortened nightcap, 8-0.
On Senior Day, Amherst honored co-captains Reilly Horan ’13 and Theresa Kelley ’13 with a pregame ceremony, before delivering the duo the 90th win of their careers in the opener. Over four years, Horan and Kelley own a .647 winning percentage (90-49) as the Lord Jeffs moved to 22-11 (4-8 NESCAC West) on the 2013 season.
Taking two of three in the weekend series, Wesleyan (24-7, 7-2 NESCAC West) wrapped up the 2013 Little III title while keeping pace with Middlebury atop the West Division standings.
Arielle Doering ’14 went the distance for Amherst in Saturday’s opener, surrendering three earned runs without a walk as she worked out of several key jams to improve to 7-4. In addition to Miller’s strong day at the plate, Donna Leet ’15 ripped a pair of triples and drove in one. Jill Gately was the only Cardinal with multiple hits, going 2-for-4, while Redding drove in a pair.
The Jeffs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first against Wesleyan starter Laura Getchell, who took the loss after yielding five runs in five innings. After Kelsey Ayers ’15 walked and Kaitlin Silkowitz ’14 beat out a bunt single, Horan drew a one-out free pass to load the bases. The Cardinals were able to cut down a run at the plate on a fielder’s choice, but Getchell’s control problems persisted with two outs as she walked Brianna Cook ’16 to plate a run before giving way to reliever Amanda Roosa. Greeting the new arm, Idalia Friedson ’15 ripped a clutch two-run single to right-center to cap the frame.
In the second, Amherst continued to come through with two outs as Leet chased Silkowitz home from first with a triple to the right-center gap before Miller snuck an infield single in to make it 5-0. Cook later singled to load the bases, chasing Roosa from the mound, but Getchell re-entered and fanned Friedson to limit the damage.
Wesleyan picked up an unearned run in the third on Tori Redding’s RBI groundout, but Amherst got it back an inning later when Leet ripped another triple and Miller drove her in with a groundout to third that Lexi Par robbed from reaching the outfield with a great diving stop and throw. Not giving up, the Cardinals made it a two-run game in the sixth as Gately singled then raced home on a double-steal and Amy Lindland ’14 poked a single of her own, stole second, then came around on a pair of wild pitches.
Miller gave the Jeffs a big insurance run in the bottom half, blasting a two-out drive over the wall in center for her second homer of the year. Wesleyan got one back on an unearned tally in the seventh as Gately reached on an error and scored on Roosa’s single, but with the tying run at the plate, Doering induced a comebacker from Lindland to seal her complete-game victory.
Pardo was the story in the nightcap, picking up her second win of the series and improving to 12-0 on the year as she struck out five and walked none over five dominant innings. Gately starred at the plate for the Cardinals, going 2-for-2 with a homer and four RBIs, while Allee Beatty and Lindland also tallied two-hit games and Ashley McLaren drove in a pair. Ashleigh Rutherford ’16 managed the lone single for Amherst off of Pardo as Kelley absorbed the loss, falling to 13-5 with four innings of work before Caroline Sealander ’15 pitched a scoreless fifth.
Wesleyan grabbed momentum right away in the rubber match of the series as Beatty led off with a single before Gately came up big with two outs, depositing a high drive just over the center field fence. With Pardo keeping the Jeff bats quiet, the visitors used some two-out magic to pad their lead in the third as Lindland singled, Redding and Gately ripped back-to-back RBI doubles to left, and Roosa capped the surge with a run-scoring single up the middle.
It was a similar story in the fourth as the Cardinals continued to hurt Amherst with two down as singles by Beatty and Lindland and a walk to Redding loaded the bases for Gately. After Kelley hit the sophomore with a pitch to force in a run, McLaren broke it open with a two-run single just beyond the reach of a diving Silkowitz in center. Putting Wesleyan up 8-0, the hit provided an early ending as Pardo completed her one-hitter in the fifth.
While the twinbill marked the end of the NESCAC season for Amherst, the Jeffs will wrap up their 2013 schedule with a pair of non-conference dates, hosting Elms College in a single contest at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday before traveling to Keene State for a Friday doubleheader.