Anchored by Amherst’s first perfect game in almost 20 years, the Mammoths went 3-1 in two doubleheaders this week.
On Wednesday, April 13, the Mammoths headed down to Springfield to face the Springfield College Pride in a two-game set. Standout first-year Dani Torres Werra ’25, who led the squad both offensively with a .451 batting average and 19 RBIs and as a pitcher with a 1.62 ERA, took the pitching circle in the first game.
Neither team managed to score in the first two innings, with Werra notching back-to-back strikeouts in the bottom of the second to keep the score level.
Rachel Lovejoy ’23 woke the Amherst bats in the third with a single up the middle. In the next three at-bats, Autumn Lee ’23 crushed a double to center, Torres Werra roped a triple down the right field line, and Jess Butler ’23 hit a sacrifice fly to left — just like that, the Mammoths took a 3-0 lead.
After holding the Pride scoreless in the bottom half of the inning, the Mammoths doubled their lead in their next time up at-bat. Megan Taketa ’23 brought two runners home with a triple to left field, and Lovejoy scored Taketa with a single through the right side immediately afterward.
On the other side of the ball, Torres Werra was dealing. She forced three fly-outs in both the fourth and the fifth, and then struck out the side in the sixth to hold the lead.
She received even more run support in the seventh when a Talia Bloxham ’22 fielder’s choice plated Randi Finkelstein ’24 and Taketa racked up another RBI on an error by the Pride. With the score at 8-0, Torres Werra headed back to the circle for the bottom of the seventh, just three outs shy of perfection.
Torres Werra forced the first two batters to ground out and pop out to second base, respectively, before a fly out to center field put the finishing touches on the masterpiece. Amherst had done it. Twenty-one batters faced. Twenty-one batters out. No errors. No hits.
Crazy enough, Torres Werra didn’t know she was flirting with history at any point in the ballgame. “It really felt like any other game. I actually didn’t realize that I had pitched a perfect game until after it had ended and my whole team started celebrating,” she said. “Even then, the reality of what had happened only sunk in after I glanced at the scoreboard and saw all the zeros.”
However, the bats went cold in the second half of the double-header. Springfield managed three runs in the first inning and the Mammoths were never able to fully recover, eventually falling 5-1.Taketa, Lovejoy, Lee, and Mia Castro ’25 each recorded a single in the contest, and Bloxham pitched four relief innings of one-run ball in the loss.
On Saturday, April 16, the Mammoths hosted NESCAC foe Trinity in a double-header that did not officially count towards conference play. However, the games had the feel of a typical NESCAC affair — the Mammoths won both games in tight fashion.
In the first match, Torres Werra was handed the ball once again and did not disappoint. She ended up going the distance, striking out eight and allowing only two runs over seven innings of work.
And again, Amherst’s pitching got the run support it needed — the Mammoths’ offense was led by Taketa, who put together a three-hit game, half of the team’s total hits. Taketa was a home run away from hitting for the cycle, doubling in the first, singling in the third, and tripling in the fourth to give the Mammoths a 4-1 lead.
Trinity plated a runner in the fifth, but the score remained deadlocked at 4-2 for the rest of the game.
In the final game of the week, Bloxham was awarded the start. She, too, went the distance, throwing seven innings of two-run ball, only one of which was earned.
However, the Mammoths only managed to plate one run in the first six innings. Heading into the bottom of the seventh, they were down 2-1 to the Bantams. It looked like they had their backs against the wall; nevertheless, America Rangel ’25 singled to right center to get the rally started. Taketa and Lovejoy both reached on back-to-back errors. With Taketa on third and the score tied, Lee singled down the left field line to walk it off, and the Mammoths sealed a 3-2 win.
With just two weeks remaining in their regular season, the Mammoths boast an impressive record of 15-6 overall and 4-2 in conference play. Looking ahead, they will play an away game at Western New England University on Wednesday, April 20, before playing an important home-and-home series against rival Williams on Friday, April 22, and Saturday, April 23. Friday’s game will be in Williamstown, while Saturday’s doubleheader will be at home.