Softball Up to Bat at Fort Myers
By Kimona Cameron '12, Sports Section Editor
During spring break the Jeffs’ softball team traveled to Fort Myers, Fla. to compete against 10 other schools in the 2010 Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic. They accumulated an even 5-5 record after starting and ending their trip with two wins, punctuated by a string of losses. Yet in spite of the losses, senior tri-captain Jackie Tyler believes that “[the record] does not reflect how well the team actually played. Our freshman performed very well — beyond expectations,” she remarked, “and the athleticism and talent all the way through the lineup was impressive.”

On the first day of the trip, the Jeffs secured a 17-13 win over New Paltz State and a 6-1 win over The College of Wooster. The Jeffs trailed the New Paltz Hawks after the first inning, but they quickly took hold of the lead in the second and maintained it for most of the game. In the ninth inning, Annemarie Iker ’12 hit a grand slam to seal the Jeffs’ victory. The game ended with a total of six doubles and four home runs for Amherst. Sophomore Carly Dudzik hit a home run in the first inning of the day’s second game, scoring two runs against Wooster. Amherst kept that lead for the rest of the game, as Wooster scored their first and only run in the third inning.

The Jeffs’ second day of action was not as successful as the first — the Jeffs lost 3-1 to Wheaton College and 4-0 to Worcester State. The first game, against Wheaton, began rather slowly; Wheaton got on the board first in the sixth inning. The Thunder maintained that lead, scoring another two runs in the seventh inning. First-year Reilly Horan scored the Jeffs’ only run in the seventh inning. The Jeffs scored no runs against Worcester, but came away from the game with a combined five hits from Tyler, Dudzik and Horan.

The next day, the Jeffs lost to Fredonia State 2-1 and secured a 9-2 win against the Polytechnic Institute of New York. Fredonia State took the lead with a run in the first inning. Though Dudzik hit a solo home run during the third inning, this was the Jeffs’ only run of the game. Playing against the Polytechnic Institute, the Jeffs scored three runs in the third inning, four in the fourth and two in the sixth.

The Jeffs lost 7-5 against the University of Scranton and 2-0 against SUNY Brockport on the fourth day of competition. Theresa Kelley ’12 and Christina Anderson ’12 pitched in the first game against Scranton. Kelley struck out two batters and allowed seven runs and six hits, while Anderson allowed three hits and struck out one batter. In their second game against Brockport, the Jeffs struck out 10 times, did not score any runs and only connected on two hits.

On the last day of play, the Jeffs finished strong and won both games, beating Curry College 14-0 and Fitchburg State 10-2. Playing against Curry, Amherst came out strong; scoring two runs in the first inning. They then extended their lead, scoring three runs in the fifth inning, two in the sixth and an impressive seven in the seventh. The second game, against Fitchburg, took on a slower pace for the Jeffs, as they did not score until the fourth inning. In the fifth inning, Amherst scored eight runs to secure a lead and win.

The Jeffs are looking forward to a successful season and are determined to participate in the NESCAC Tournament this year. “There were quite a few mental and physical errors in Florida that we all think can be fixed with some good practices,” said Dudzik. “The coaches are really focusing on going back to the basics and working to prevent these errors in upcoming games. The team is feeling very positive and ready to work hard going forward.”

The team will next take to the diamond on Wednesday, March 24 against Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Issue 19, Submitted 2010-03-24 20:13:06