Jeffs Sweep Division Rival Middlebury|
MIDDLEBURY, Vermont - Sophomore hurler Emily Melia (Hingham, MA) tossed a complete-game three-hit shutout in the nightcap, and junior Lauren Peloquin (Berkley, MA) scattered six hits en route to her 12th win of the season in the opener, as the Amherst College softball team picked up a key pair of divisional wins on Saturday with a sweep of host Middlebury College, 5-1 in game one and 8-0 in the six-inning nightcap.
|Sophomore Emily Melia tossed |
a three-hit complete-
game shutout in the nightcap
Peloquin, who entered Saturday's twinbill with a league-leading ERA of 0.40, started the opener off for the Jeffs on the offensive end, connecting for a clutch two-out, two-run single in the first to give the Jeffs the early lead. Amherst added a run in the third inning before the Panthers picked up their lone run of the doubleheader on an RBI single from sophomore Kelly Slack (Manchester, NH). Peloquin settled down, however, striking out eight and walking only one on the afternoon to improve to 12-1 on the season.
Offensively, along with Peloquin, senior co-captain Meg Nelson (Middletown, CT) had a banner game at the plate, finishing a homerun short of the cycle in four trips to the plate, scoring twice and adding an RBI. The Jeffs added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth inning, and Peloquin cruised from there for the 5-1 final.
In the nightcap, the Jeffs again jumped out to an early lead, scoring three times in a big first inning and never looking back. Melia, who has pitched much better than her 4-6 record entering the doubleheader would indicate, was nearly flawless on the mound, striking out six and not allowing a single walk in six innings of work. The Jeffs, who added a solitary run in the fifth, broke the game open with a four-run sixth innings, taking the game by the eight-run rule when the Panthers were unable to rally in the bottom of the inning.
In the nightcap, sophomore Jenna Obelsky (Stoughton, MA) turned in one of her better performances at the plate, finishing with a pair of hits in three times at bat with two runs scored. Melia, who picked up her second shutout of the season, went the distance to improve to 5-6.
With the doubleheader sweep, the Jeffs improve to 17-7, and, more importantly, 4-0 in NESCAC West division games. With doubleheaders on Thursday and Saturday against divisional foes Wesleyan University and Williams College, the Jeffs can finish no worse than tied for second place in the West. With the top two teams in each division advancing to the first-ever NESCAC softball tournament, Amherst can lock up a slot in the four-team field with just one win in the four games. Thursday's twinbill against Wesleyan is a 3:30 start in Amherst, before Saturday's 1:00 p.m. doubleheader at arch-rival Williams.
With the two losses, Middlebury (4-11, 0-4 NESCAC West) is all-but eliminated from a possible playoff bid, with a Tuesday doubleheader against Bates College next on the schedule.
Game One Box Score and Play-by-Play
Game Two Box Score and Play-by-Play