Middlebury clinched a spot in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament by earning a doubleheader split with Amherst in the final league games of the season for the Panthers. The Jeffs end NESCAC play on Sunday with a pair against Williams.
Amherst pitcher Miya Warner held Middlebury to just a pair of singles over nine innings as the Jeffs took game one, 1-0 in an extra inning affair. Both teams had great chances to score in the sixth inning, but Amherst's inning ended with a bases loaded pop out. Middlebury saw its rally end on a double play as a groundout to third was quickly thrown home by the first baseman to double off a Panther trying to advance from third.
Amherst broke onto the board in the bottom of the ninth as Laura Smith singled to right to score Caroline Polales, who was placed on second base to begin the inning. Middlebury rallied in the ninth, but the game ended on a play similar to the one that ended the sixth inning. Ellen Sargent grounded out to shortstop, before Christine Grimaldi was thrown out at the plate trying to advance.
Sargent and Maura Casey singled in the game for Middlebury, while Megan McCarthy allowed an unearned run over nine innings. Smith, Polales, Laura Trigeiro and Rachel Hoerger each had singles for Amherst.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game two, as Ellen Sargent singled up the middle, scoring Grimaldi. The lead grew to 2-0 in the second inning as Colleen Sullivan plated Grimaldi with a ground out to second. Amherst cut the lead in half in the fourth inning as Trigeiro plated Polales with a drive to left that was mis-handled, allowing Polales to score from first. That would be the game's final run as Middlebury held on for the 2-1 win.
McCarthy earned the win, allowing an unearned run and three hits over seven innings. Sargent and Susan Miranowski each went 2-3 in the game to pace the offense. Hilary Little took the loss in relief for Amherst, while Polales went 2-3 with a run scored.