Amherst Splits on Second Day of NCAA Softball Tournament
Courtesy Amherst Sports Information
AMHERST, Mass. – Dropping a 5-2 decision to Plattsburgh in its morning session, the Amherst softball team staved off elimination with a 2-1 victory over Keuka at the 2012 Amherst, Mass. Softball Regional Championship.
Improving to 36-5 on the season, the Jeffs will now face top-seeded Cortland in another elimination game scheduled for Sunday, May 13 at 10 a.m.
Game 1: Plattsburgh 5, Amherst
Ashley Marshall '13 retired 13 of the last 14 batters she faced to lead second-seeded Plattsburgh (33-9) to a 5-2 victory over host Amherst (35-5) at the 2012 NCAA Softball Regional Championship.
Tossing all seven innings, Marshall (24-4) surrendered just two runs on five hits, while striking out five. Amherst starter Theresa Kelley '13 (Los Angeles, Calif.) took the loss, giving up two runs on five hits in just 1.0 innings. Sophomore Arielle Doering '14 (Branchburg, N.J.), tossed 5.0 strong frames in relief, allowing three runs on seven hits.
Kaitlin Silkowitz '14 (Scarsdale, N.Y.) was one of only two Jeffs to record a hit, finishing 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Carolyn Miller '14 (Leominster, Mass.) went 1-for-3 with an RBI single in the top of the first.
Belting two more homers, upping their Regional total to five in two games, Plattsburgh pounded out 12 hits against an Amherst staff that leads the NESCAC in ERA and opponent batting average. Michelle Iannone '15 led the Cardinal offense, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI, while Brittany Marshall '15 and Megan Price '14 each homered, combining for four hits.
Looking to take advantage of a couple of early Plattsburgh miscues, Kelsey Ayers '15 (Los Altos, Calif.) reached on an error before moving to second on a wild pitch. Slapping a single to shallow left, Silkowitz plated the Jeffs' first run before Ashley Marshall settled in, retiring Donna Leet '15 (Seattle, Wash.) on a fly ball to left and getting a big double play to end the Amherst threat.
Wasting no time getting on the board, Brittany Marshall quickly answered in the home half, belting a lead-off homer to pull Plattsburgh even. After Allison Smiddy '12 grounded out to short for the first out, Brianna Clarke '14 hammered a triple to the base of the left centerfield wall before Iannone tucked a ball just inside the third base line to put the Cardinals on top.
Hoping to limit the damage with runners on first and second, Kelley struck out Katie McNally '12, but Samantha Capobianco '14 followed with a base-hit to load the bases. Needing a big out, the junior hurler regrouped, getting Dana Mandery '12 to hit into a fielder's choice to get the Jeffs out of the frame.
With Price tacking on a Plattsburgh run in the top of the second thanks to another lead-off homer, Amherst looked to get something going the following frame, with Silkowitz legging out an infield single. Stealing second, the sophomore moved to third on a Leet ground out before Reilly Horan '13 (Darien, Conn.) drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Finding a hole through the left side, Miller notched a big two-out hit, plating Silkowitz to make it 3-2.
Trailing 5-2 after Iannone's two-run double in the bottom of the sixth, the Jeffs hoped to finally get something going against a cruising Ashley Marshall, but the senior retired three of the four batters she faced in the bottom of the seventh to seal the Cortland win.
Game 2: Amherst 2, Keuka 1
Plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Amherst softball team earned a hard-fought 2-1 comeback win over Keuka College (23-13) to stave off elimination at the 2012 Amherst, Mass. Softball Regional Championship.
Amherst starter Kelley went 5.0 innings, allowing one run on five hits, while sophomore Doering picked up the win after tossing 2.0 hitless innings with four strikeouts. Keuka's Danielle Gravel '14 lasted 6.0 frames in the loss, surrendering two runs on six hits.
Horan went 1-for-3, plating the tying run with an RBI bunt single in the sixth, while Kelley pushed across the go-ahead score with a one-out sacrifice to right. Leet added a pair of hits, while Silkowitz and Carly Dudzik '12 (Darien, Conn.) each went 1-for-3.
The only player to record multiple hits for Keuka, Kelly Proper '15 went 2-for-3, while Jill Hart '14 drove in the Storm's only run with a solo homer in the sixth.
Scoreless through the first three innings, Keuka looked to get something going with one out in the top of the fourth, putting two on thanks to a Proper infield single and a Terin Brown '13 walk. After Brittany Smyder '13 struck out, Gravel hoped to help her own cause with a slap single that loaded the bases, but Kelley bore down, getting Katie Evangelista '14 to chase strike three to end the Storm threat.
Still searching for the game's first run in the top of the sixth, Hart deposited a Kelley offering over the right field fence, spelling the end of the junior starter's day. Calling on Doering to limit the damage, the reliever struck out Proper for the frame's first out before walking Brown. Getting Smyder to hit into a fielder's choice, Doering then fanned Gravel on three pitches to keep the Jeffs within one.
Hoping to jumpstart the Jeff offense, Silkowitz led off the frame with a bunt single to third before alerting swiping second to put the tying run in scoring position with nobody out. Leet followed with a bunt single of her own to put runners on the corners before Horan laid down another perfect bunt along the third base line that brought in Silkowitz. After Miller moved the runners with a grounder to second, Kelley lifted a sacrifice fly to deep right, plating Horan to suddenly give the Jeffs a 2-1 lead heading into the seventh.
Looking to protect the Jeff lead, Doering struck out Evangelista and got Jessica Bandrowski '14 to ground out to short before striking out Elly Disbrow '12 to end the game.