Late Rally Falls Short As Softball Drops Home-Opener To Amherst

March 29, 2013

Trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh against Amherst, Middlebury (5-6, 0-1) rallied to score three runs, but stranded the tying runner on third in a 4-3 home-opening loss. Despite the setback Jessa Hoffman had a huge day for Middlebury, going 4-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBI. The two teams are scheduled to complete their three-game NESCAC West series with a twin-bill tomorrow at noon.

Amherst (12-3, 1-0) broke open a scoreless game in the third with two runs during a two-out rally. A pair of infield singles brought left-handed hitting Donna Leet to the plate. Leet took a low offering from Panther hurler Elizabeth Morris and launched it to the base of the centerfield wall for a two-RBI, stand-up triple.

The Jeffs added two key insurance runs in the final frame with another two-out rally. After Ashleigh Rutherford reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a wild pitch,  Kelsey Ayers knocked her in with an RBI single to left, advancing to second on the throw home. With first base open, Morris walked Kaitlin Silkowitz, bringing Leet to the plate. Leet punched a single to center, scoring Ayers, but Leet was put out trying to advance to second.

Trailing 4-0, Middlebury opened the seventh with a double by Sarah Boylan, who was pulled for pinch-runner Kelsey Martel. A one-out single by Emma Katz  pushed Martel to third. Kimber Sable followed with a SAC fly to center, scoring Martel, cutting the deficit to 4-1. After Jackie Stern drew a walk, moving Katz to second, Hoffman stepped in to face Kelley for the fourth time. Already 3-3 on the day, Hoffman slammed a double to centerfield for two RBI, setting the score at 4-3 in favor of the visitors. With clean-up hitter Jessica Poracky at the plate, Kelley launched a wild pitch, allowing Hoffman to reach third. Kelley settled in, and on a 1-1 pitch, enticed a pop foul behind home plate where Ayers made the put out, ending the Panther comeback.

Hoffman’s 4-4, two doubles, and two RBI day at the dish raised her average to .526 on the young season, while Boylan’s double was the only other extra-base hit for the Panthers. Morris (3-1) suffered her first loss, going seven innings, allowing four earned runs, while striking out four.

Leet’s 2-4 day including the triple and three RBI paced Amherst, while Ayers’ added three singles, two runs scored and an RBI. Kelley (7-0) allowed three earned runs, while striking out three, and chipped in with a single of her own.


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