Middlebury suffered a pair of losses on Saturday afternoon, as Amherst picked up 4-1 and 12-4 (6 innings) wins over the Panthers (12-16, 4-7) in NESCAC West action. The two teams will play game three of the series on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m.
In the opener, Amherst took a 1-0 lead in the second inning with an unearned run on a throwing error. The Mammoths scored two more runs in the third, one on a wild pitch and another on an RBI single to center by Katie Kopatic.
Middlebury got on the board in the bottom of the inning. Ally Doll singled to left and later scored on a fielding error, making it a 3-1 game.
The Panthers rallied in the sixth, loading the bases with one out, but could not put a run across the plate.
Amherst added an insurance run in the seventh on a wild pitch, making it a 4-1 final.
Irene Margiotta (9-10) suffered the loss, allowing three earned runs with five strikeouts over seven innings. Jen McGann went 2-2 to lead the Panther hitters as the home team left eight runners on base.
Lorena Ukanwa (8-5) picked up the win, allowing no earned runs and four hits with five strikeouts over seven innings. Sammy Salustri was 2-4 to pace the Mammoth hitters, while Nicole Trezza scored twice.
Amherst jumped on the board with three runs in the first inning of game two. Kyra Naftel doubled to left to drive in a run and Audrey Hansen plated another with a single through the left side. The Mammoths took a 3-0 lead when Salustri scored on a wild pitch.
Middlebury answered with a pair in the bottom of the inning to make it a 3-2 game. Sophia Marlino reached on an error and scored on a double down the left-field line by Melanie Mandell. Two batters later, Mandell scored on a grounder to third that ended up being an error.
Amherst increased its lead to 5-2 in the second on an RBI ground out by Naftel and a run-scoring single through the left side by Salustri.
Amherst answered with three runs in the fourth, one earned, making it an 8-4 game.
The Mammoths scored three in the fifth, two on a two-run double to left center by Hansen.
Middlebury loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with nobody out, but could not gain any ground.
Amherst made it a 12-4 contest with a run in the sixth on a run-scoring single to center by Naftel.
Needing a run to extend the game, the hosts loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but could do no damage.
Margiotta (9-11) suffered the loss, allowing three earned runs over two innings. Noelle Ruschil went 4-4, while Tarr finished 2-4 as the Panthers left 14 runners on base.
Talia Bloxham (9-5) earned the win over five innings of work, allowing two earned runs with four strikeouts. Salustri went 4-5 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored, while Naftel was 2-3 with a double, three RBI and three runs scored. Trezza had a 3-4 game, scoring four times, while Hansen drove in three and went 2-5.