The Hamilton College Continentals opened their final NESCAC West Division series of the season on Friday with a 5-2 loss in the opener of a three-game set against the Amherst College Lord Jeffs at Hamilton's Ferguson Field.
The Lord Jeffs (19-9, 5-5 NESCAC West) broke a 2-2 tie with three runs in the fifth and sixth innings and held on as the Continentals put three runners on base during their last three at-bats.
Hamilton (11-20, 2-8) brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the fifth after Ellie Kiernan ’15 beat out a one-out infield single and Sarah Moore ’16 singled to left one out later. Amherst pitcher Jackie Buechler ’17 speared a line drive to end the threat.
Hannah Staab ’17 led off the seventh with a double down the right field line but the Lord Jeffs retired the next three batters.
Both Staab and Kiernan had two of Hamilton’s eight hits and combined to put the Continentals ahead in the first inning. Staab led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. She took third base on a single by Kelly Leonard ’15 before Kiernan’s infield groundout gave Hamilton a 1-0 lead.
Nicolette Miranda ’16 and Kelsey Ayers ’15 put the Lord Jeffs up 2-1 in the third inning. Miranda led off with a double and scored on a single by Kaitlin Silkowitz ’14. Ayers beat out a bunt and was driven home on a single by Brianna Cook ‘16.
The Continentals tied the score with an unearned run in the bottom of the third inning on a single by Chelsea Merritt '14. Merritt’s hit scored Kiernan, who had singled and advanced to second base on an outfield error.
Alena Marovitz ’17 tripled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the fifth inning after Ayers led off with a single. Ayers collected her third hit an inning later, singling home two insurance runs. Miranda and Annie Apffel ’17, who reached on a pinch-hit single, scored on the play. Miranda, Silkowitz and Marovitz finished with two hits each.
Buechler earned the complete-game win, allowing eight hits and striking out four batters.
The two teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader that starts at noon on Saturday, April 26, at Hamilton.