Softball Takes Game One At Amherst

April 27, 2012

Kimber Sable went 2-3 and drove in three runs to lead Middlebury past Amherst 5-3 Friday afternoon in a NESCAC West softball series opener.  The Panthers broke a 2-2 tie with three runs in the top of the sixth and fended off a seventh-inning rally from Amherst. Sarah Boylan had two hits and an RBI, while Emily Kraytenberg was 3-4 and scored a pair of runs.

Kelsey Ayers, Carolyn Miller and Donna Leet each went 2-4 for Amherst, but the Lord Jeffs were held to three runs by Elizabeth Morris (W, 7-1). Morris allowed 10 hits in her complete-game effort, striking out four and walking none.

Theresa Kelley suffered her first loss of the season (17-1) despite striking out nine batters without surrendering a walk, as she gave up five earned runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings. Arielle Doering recorded the final four outs for the Jeffs without allowing a hit.

The teams will meet Saturday at noon for a doubleheader that will determine the host site for next weekend’s NESCAC Championship. The Panthers need to win only one game to earn the tournament’s top seed, while the Jeffs will have to sweep if they want to earn hosting rights for the first time in program history.

Middlebury got things going in the top of the second inning when Sable delivered a two-RBI single to center field, scoring Kraytenberg and Boylan for a 2-0 lead. The Jeffs tied the game in the fourth when Ayers brought home Miller on a two-out infield single, with Kelley also scoring on the play by taking advantage of a dropped throw to first base.

Boylan came up with the go-ahead hit when she doubled off the left field fence to score Kraytenberg with one out. Sable followed with a two-out triple that held up as the game-winning hit, and she would come around to score on a wild pitch that brought the score to 5-2.

Amherst threatened in the seventh when Kaitlin Silkowitz led off with a bunt single and came around to score on a double to right field by Miller, but Morris induced a pair of pop-ups that ended the game.

The top four hitters in Middlebury’s lineup were a combined 1-15, but the rest of the Panthers’ order was 7-15 with two doubles and a triple. The Jeffs had their win streak snapped at nine games and have now dropped four in a row to Middlebury.