In a series riddled with drama, the Amherst softball team suffered a sweep at the hands of rival Williams College this weekend.
On Saturday, April 25, Talia Bloxham ’22 got the nod in the first game of a double-header, pitching a stellar five innings. Bloxham struck out three, but Williams’ third-inning hit from Aly Granados and a sacrifice fly by Kelly McGuigan in the fifth plated two runs.
Heading into the top of the final inning down 2-0, the Mammoths battled. Autumn Lee ’23 and Jess Butler ’23 both managed to reach base, marking the first time since the third inning the Mammoths recorded a baserunner. However, Ephs’ pitcher Kirstin Mapes forced three straight outs to secure the victory for Willaims.
The second game was nothing like the low-scoring affair in the first match. The Mammoths exploded for the first six runs of the games, scoring in each of the first four innings. In the first, Lee cranked a solo home run, leaving the yard for the first time this season. A flurry of singles in the second inning by Bloxham, Sadie Pool ’24, Megan Taketa ’23 and Rachel Lovejoy ’23 scored two, and a single down the left field line by Alyson Plaman ’21 plated another in the third.
Lovejoy came through for the Mammoths again in the fourth, crushing a home run to left field that scored Taketa.
Nevertheless, down 6-0 headed into the bottom of the inning, Williams’ offense flipped the switch. The Ephs managed to score one in the fourth and three in the fifth, putting them within two runs of the Mammoths.
In the sixth, Randi Finkelstein ’24 hit her fourth home run of the abbreviated season, scoring Audrey Orlowksi ’23 and putting the Mammoths up four runs. Once again, however, the Ephs bounced back. A towering three-run home-run by McGuigan (of Williams) brought the game within one run, and a string of hits by the Ephs brought another three runs to the plate. Just like that, the Mammoths were down 10-8.
Trailing by two in their last at-bat, the Mammoths put the pressure back on. Lovejoy ripped a double to center and Lee singled, setting up an eventual RBI by Maddie Procyk ’24. After a hit-by-pitch, the Mammoths loaded the bases, with the tying run just 60 feet away from the plate.
Pool stepped up and crushed a rocket back at the pitcher. The line-drive tipped off the pitcher’s glove and rolled to no-man’s land in between the shortstop and third base. The Williams shortstop backhanded the ball and fired to first. While Pool appeared to have beaten out the throw, the umpire called her out, ending the game at 10-9 and sealing the series victory in bizarre fashion.
On Sunday, April 26, the Mammoths hosted the Ephs, looking to win the final match of the series. However, Williams dominated from the gate, scoring seven first inning runs. While the Mammoths scraped together three hits in the match, led by a multi-hit game from Butler, they were unable to put a run on the board, falling by a score of 8-0.
Next weekend, on May 1 and May 2, the Mammoths will play Middlebury College in their final regular season series of the year.