Softball Falls Hard Against Westfield State and Clark
By Kimona Cameron '12, Sports Section Editor
Ending their six non-conference game winning streak, the Jeffs registered two losses against Westfield State College last Wednesday after dropping two the previous day against Clark University. Despite these setbacks, the team was unfazed. “It’s most important for us to focus on our next games, especially our NESCAC series against Hamilton this weekend,” said senior tri-captain Jackie Tyler. While Amherst took early leads in both games, Westfield State managed to surpass the Jeffs and win both games.

The first game ended in a 4-3 win for Westfield State. Despite the loss, the Jeffs recorded the majority of the hits in the game: seven to the Owls’ five. First-year pitcher Theresa Kelley also threw five strikeouts in the six innings she pitched. Amherst was the first of the two teams to score a run in the third inning when senior tri-captain Emily Neill scored on a double by sophomore Stephanie Clegg. Westfield State scored its first run from a solo home run early in the fourth inning.

During the fifth inning, the Jeffs fell behind as Westfield State took the lead. Neill managed to advance to second base on a throwing error by the shortstop and later scored on a single by Christina Anderson ’13. Anderson then advanced to second base on a throwing error, which enabled allowed Clegg to advance to third and later score on a single by first-year Reilly Horan. Westfield State scored three runs in the inning, two of which were the result of errors by the Jeffs.

In the second game, Anderson pitched six innings, giving up nine hits, six earned runs and three walks while managing to strike one batter out. There was hope for the Jeffs in the third inning when they scored to lead 2-0. Tyler scored on a passed ball and sophomore Carly Dudzik scored on a wild pitch. In the same inning, however, the Owls scored on a throwing error and single and tied it up at 2-2.

Unfortunately, Amherst was shut out from scoring for the rest of the game. The team came the closest in the fifth inning with Tyler on third base and Dudzik up to bat. However, Dudzik struck out swinging. Westfield State broke the tie in the sixth inning, after they scored on a throwing error. Lisa Policelli hit a single allowing Brittany Dussault to score. Danielle Lutenegger scored on a fielding error and Kerin DeGirolamo and Policelli scored on a double by Alicia Gardner.

On Tuesday, Amherst played two games against Clark University and lost both, dropping the Jeffs to 11-11 for the season. The losses weren’t for a lack of effort. “We hit the ball hard today, but couldn’t find the gaps, or catch a break,” said Tyler. The first game ended 8-0, with the Jeffs recording five hits. During the first inning Dudzik hit an infield single at the third basemen, but Neill, who was up next, grounded out, preventing the Jeffs from scoring. The Cougars were able to score three runs in the same inning, one of which was the product of a throwing error by the Jeffs.

Pitcher Alex Chang-Graham ’10 was able to shut out the Cougars until the fifth inning. In the fifth, she ran into trouble, and Clark University player Chelsea Proulx scored on a double by Joanna Clark. Shortly after, Clark and Erin Murphy scored on singles by Lauren Blake and Meghan Lennon respectively. Melissa Traft and Darcey Kurashige-Elliot wrapped up the inning by each hitting sacrifice flies.

The second game ended 7-0, with the Jeffs only gathering six hits. Similar to in the first game, the Cougars got on the board in the first inning. Kurashige-Elliot doubled, allowing Traft and Mel Melkonian to score. Kelley, pitching for the Jeffs, then prevented the Clark from scoring any more runs until the fourth inning by striking out several players and limiting hits. However, the Cougars scored another four runs in the fourth inning and another in the sixth.

Anderson was the only Amherst player to have more than two hits in the two games combined. She had four overall. Dudzik, Tyler, Horan and Clegg each had two hits in the games. Said Neill about the unsuccessful stretch, “Though our games obviously didn’t end as we would have liked, we still played well. Clark is a very good team, and our pitchers did a great job working through injuries and a tight strike zone. It was one of those days where every ball we hit hard went straight at someone. We’ll look to keep hitting the ball hard against Smith and hopefully some of them will fall.”

The Jeffs will play two non-conference games at Smith College this afternoon at 4 p.m.

Issue 22, Submitted 2010-04-14 04:58:34