Softball splits doubleheader at Amherst
|Val Beckwith '09 was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate for Bates in Tuesday's doubleheader at Amherst.|
AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College softball team suffered a 2-1 loss to Bates College in game one of Tuesday’s non-conference doubleheader but came back for a 13-5 win in the nightcap. The Lord Jeffs (12-17) piled on 17 hits in the second game and allowed just seven to the Bobcats (6-18) after each team had nine hits in the first game.
In game one, sophomore Carlen Arima (Belleveue, Wash.) put the Bobcats on the board in the top of the first inning with an RBI single up the middle that drove in junior captain Stacia Saniuk (Sharon, Mass.), who reached on a single through the left side earlier in the inning.
The Jeffs got one back in the home half of the first, as sophomore Jackie Tyler singled to right field, stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by first-year Sam Presnal. Senior Elizabeth Neckes ripped a single up the middle to bring Tyler around for the tying run, as the teams were notched at 1-1 with one inning in the bag.
Amherst had runners on second and third in each of the second and fourth innings but failed to score each time, as Bates starting pitcher Christina Knobel (Walpole, Mass.) pitched out of two tough jams. Bates added what would be the game-winning run in the top of the fifth, with sophomore Jean McIntyre (Marshfield, Mass.) leading off with a bunt single. McIntyre advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.) and was driven in when Saniuk crushed the ball off the fence in dead center field to give the Bobcats a 2-1 advantage.
Starting pitcher Alex Chang-Graham shut down Bates the rest of the way, but the Jeffs were unable to put together anything of their own. Presnal reached on a throwing error to lead off the bottom of the seventh and would advance to third on consecutive groundouts, but Knobel got out of yet another jam to cap off her complete-game victory, with the Bobcats hanging on for the 2-1 win.
Beckwith went 3-for-3 to lead Bates in the first game, while Saniuk was 2-for-4. Tyler led Amherst with two stolen bases and a 3-for-4 performance, with junior Holly Trace going 2-for-3 to round out the batters with multiple hits.
Knobel and Chang-Graham each scattered nine hits and one walk, but Knobel struck out three and allowed just one earned run to pick up the win and move to 2-3 on the season. Chang-Graham struck out four and moved to 7-7 with the tough loss.
Amherst sent 13 batters to the plate in the second inning of game two to jump out to an early 7-0 lead. The offensive explosion was highlighted by two-RBI singles from Presnal and sophomore Emily Neill, as well as an RBI double by Tyler and an RBI single from junior Emily Bularzik.
Bates got a pair of runs back in the top of the third when sophomore Liz Stahler (Lyndonville, Vt.) got things going with a leadoff double to left center. After advancing to third on a groundout, she scored when Saniuk reached on a fielding error. Arima accounted for the second run when her single through the right side of the infield scored Beckwith, who had reached base on a walk.
The third inning saw the Jeffs bat around for the second time of the game, with Trace picking up a pair of RBIs on a single up the middle to help Amherst take a comfortable 12-2 lead. The Bobcats had their backs against the wall and needed to come up with at least three runs in the top of the fifth to extend the game. Bates got exactly what it needed, plating three unearned runs to cut its deficit to 12-5 and to force Amherst to bat in the bottom half of the frame.
Bates’ new life did not last long, however, as Trace led off the bottom of the fifth with a double down the left field line, advanced to third on a single by Chang-Graham, and scored on a single to right field by first-year Katie Kervick that sealed the 13-5 victory.
Senior Samantha Miller picked up the complete-game win to improve to 4-5 on the season, allowing just two earned runs on seven hits and four walks, adding four strikeouts. Senior Shayna Waldman (Playa del Rey, Calif.), who picked up the loss, combined with first-years Hannah Dwan (Litchfield, Conn.) and Liz Johnston (Westport, Conn.) to allow 17 hits and two walks for 12 earned runs, striking out three along the way.
Every player in the Amherst starting lineup had at least one hit and scored at least one run in the second game, with seven players adding at least one RBI. Tylar, Bularzik and Trace were each 3-for-4, while Chang-Graham and Presnal went 2-for-3.
Beckwith went 2-for-2 in the nightcap to finish the day at a perfect 5-for-5.
Bates will host NESCAC East Division rival Tufts University in a three-game series this weekend, starting with a game Friday at 4:30 p.m.