Amherst scored five runs in the first inning and held off a Middlebury comeback, as the 17th-ranked Mammoth softball team (15-2, 3-0) picked up a 9-4 win in game one of a NESCAC West series. The teams return to action on Sunday with a doubleheader scheduled to begin at noon.
Amherst struck for five runs on five hits in the opening inning, including a two-run single up the middle from Annie McCluskey.
Middlebury got back into the game in the fourth with a two-run homer by Kaylee Gumm, driving in Kati Daczkowski. Allison Quigley helped her own cause with a two-run shot in the fifth, plating Melanie Mandell.
Leading 5-4 in the bottom of fifth, the Mammoths added three runs on four hits, extending their league to 8-4. An RBI triple by Alyson Plaman opened the rally.
Amherst added a run in the sixth to secure the 9-4 win.
Lorene Ukanwa (9-0) picked up the win, allowing four runs and five hits over 5.2 innings with seven strikeouts. Gina Pagan tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. Four different Mammoths had two hits apiece, with Sammy Salustri and Ally Kido each picking up a double.
Quigley (3-1) suffered the loss, allowing 12 hits and eight earned runs over six innings with three strikeouts. She finished the game 2-4 at the plate with a homer and two RBI, while Olivia Bravo went 2-4 in the game.