Panthers Fall in NESCAC West Series Finale to Amherst

Jen McGann had a single in Sunday's contest.
Jen McGann had a single in Sunday's contest.

Amherst (19-10, 6-6) utilized a seven-run fifth inning on Sunday, earning a 7-0 victory over Middlebury (12-17, 4-8) in the NESCAC West series finale. The Mammoths complete the sweep following 4-1 and 12-4 victories on Saturday. The Panthers, who earned the No. 4 West seed in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament, return to action when they play the east's top seed and host Tufts on Friday at 2:30 p.m.

The first four innings featured a pitcher's duel between Middlebury's Irene Margiotta and Amherst's Lorena Ukawna, as Marigotta allowed just two hits and Ukawna one.

The Mammoths provided all of the scoring in the top of the fifth. Following a groundout, Alyson Plaman singled and Annie Murphy laid down a bunt single, before a fielder's choice put runners on the corners with two outs. Nicole Trezza singled on a slow roller to shortstop, before Kira Naftel roped a double to left center, scoring Trezza and Andrea Sanders. A throwing error allowed the fourth run to score, before back-to-back run-scoring doubles from Audrey Hansen and Victoria Ryan made the score 6-0. A base hit through the right side from Plaman pushed the advantage to 7-0.

Middlebury had a leadoff single from Melanie Mandell in the seventh, but a highlight-reel double play erased her off the base paths. Jen McGann singled through the left side with two outs, but relief pitcher Nicole Peterson tallied a strikeout for the final 7-0 score.

Mandell, Noelle Ruschil and McGann each had singles for the Panthers. Margiotta (9-12) suffered the loss, allowing three earned runs with a pair of strikeouts over seven innings. The complete game was the 16th of the spring for Margiotta, who moves into a tie for the single-season program record with Andrea Russo '03. Her 119 innings are the second-highest total in a season and her 30 career complete games tie her for third.

Ukanwa (9-5) picked up the win, allowing just a second-inning single by Ruschil over six innings of work with three strikeouts and a walk, while Peterson allowed two hits with a strikeout in the seventh. Sammy Salustri was 2-4 with a run scored to pace the Mammoth hitters, while Plaman also went 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Naftel went 1-3 with a double, two RBI and a run scored, while Sanders had a triple.