Amherst’s softball team, has strung together a series of impressive performances, going 4-1 with victories over Springfield College, Trinity College and Smith College.
The week’s first series saw the Mammoths facing off against Springfield last Wednesday. The week got off to an exciting start, with the first game going into extra innings. Andrea Sanders ’20 slapped a single through the Springfield defense to make the score 1-0. Sanders would score later in the inning to make the score 2-0. Springfield reclaimed the lead in the third inning, holding a 3-2 lead going into the fifth inning. In the fifth inning, Katie Kopatic ’20 doubled down the right field line, scoring another run for the Mammoths, tying the score at 3-3. Neither team would score before the end of the sixth inning, taking the game into extra innings.
Unfortunately, the Mammoths would lose the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. However, Amherst bounced right back later in the day, winning the second contest 2-0 due to a late innings surge that saw the Mammoths tack on a single run apiece in the fourth and fifth innings. The real star of the game, however, was Lorena Ukanwa ’19. Despite Ukanwa logging 3.1 innings pitched in the first game of the doubleheader, she started the second game and pitched a complete game, throwing 5.0 innings, only allowing two hits and striking out six.
The Mammoths then faced off in a two-game away series against conference rival Trinity College. Ukanwa started her third game in a row for the Mammoths and pitched another gem, throwing four innings and only allowing one hit, one walk and no earned runs. Ukanwa dominated the Trinity lineup; of the 12 outs that Ukanwa recorded in the circle, nine of them came via strikeout. Amherst’s offense also contributed to the win, scoring six runs in the first inning to put the game away early. Audrey Hansen ’21 starred at the plate for the Mammoths, recording two hits – including a triple– and knocking in two runs on the day during the 10-2 rout of the Bantams.
The second game was not much closer, as Amherst continued to dominate. The game was again marked by an adroit Mammoth performance in the circle, as first year Talia Bloxham threw six innings of no-run softball, holding the Bantams to just two hits. The Mammoths again started hot on the offensive side, scoring three runs in the first inning. The team would tack on four runs over the next six innings, sealing the sweep of its NESCAC rivals in dominating fashion. The Mammoths would close out their impressive week with another excellent performance against Smith on Monday evening. Ukanwa again started for the Mammoths, throwing four innings and only giving up three hits while not allowing a single Pioneer to score.
Amherst relied on the entirety of its lineup during the game, as 15 different position players would enter the game for the Mammoths. Appropriately, the offensive contributions were just as spread out, as six different Mammoths drove in runs during the 12-4 victory that was called after just five innings. With this week behind them, the Mammoths now sit at an impressive 15-4 heading into the bulk of their conference season. The team will have the rest of the week off before a three-game series at home against Hamilton on Friday and Saturday.