Softball Splits With Amherst

April 18, 2009

Middlebury won the opening game against Amherst 12-8 and fell in the night cap 3-1. The twin bill completed NESCAC West action for the Panthers (13-13, 5-7) as they continue their season with six non-league games next week. With the split, the Jeffs are now 17-6 overall and 5-3 in conference play.

In game one, Amherst broke a scoreless tie in the fourth when Stephanie Clegg belted a two-run homer to left centerfield, immediately followed by a solo blast by Annemarie Iker for a 3-0 lead. The Jeffs added three more in the fifth when Maddie Tamagni slapped a double to left for a pair of RBI. Carly Dudzik plated Tamagni with a single up the middle for a 6-0 lead. The Panthers exploded for six in the bottom of the fifth on four hits and were aided by four Amherst errors in the frame. Emily Burbridge's RBI double highlighted the comeback.

With the score tied at six all, the Panthers knocked in another six runs in the sixth inning for a 12-6 lead. With no outs, a bases-loaded RBI single by Megan Margel started the scoring, as Burbridge's base-on-balls forced in another run. Geena Constantin cleared the bases with a three RBI triple to right field. Nellie Wood capped the rally with an RBI groundout that knocked in Constantin.

Amherst cut the lead to 12-8 in the seventh on a two-run home run by Dudzik. With two outs, the Jeffs put two more runners on base, but Holly Trace's ground out ended the game.

The 12 runs scored was a season-high for Middlebury. Eight Panthers hit safely in the game, highlighted by Burbridge's RBI double and Constantin's three RBI triple. Home runs by Dudzik, Clegg and Iker led the Jeffs' six extra-base hits, as Tamagni went 3-3 on the day with a pair of doubles and two RBI.

Constantin (5-4) went the distance for the win, allowing eight earned runs, while striking out nine Jeffs. Amherst ace Alex Chang-Graham suffered her second loss on the year (13-2), allowing 12 runs, seven earned, as the Jeff defense committed nine errors.

Game two followed a similar early inning script to game one, as Amherst one again broke a scoreless tie in the fourth. With two outs, and runners on second and third, Jillian Masi singled up the middle for a 1-0 lead.

The lead held up until the bottom of the sixth as the Panthers tied it at one. Kira Gordon beat out an infield single to start the inning. Amelia Magistrali sacrifice bunt pushed Gordon to second. Leslie Crawford laced a double down the left field line, scoring Gordon from second, tying the game.

Amherst responded in the seventh with a lead-off double by Tamagni and a RBI triple by Dudzik to retake the lead 2-1. Dudzik later scored on a wild pitch by Ali McAnaney for a 3-1 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, Kristin Maletsky got on base with a one-out walk, but the next two Panthers were retired, ending the comeback bid.

Tamagni led the Jeffs from the plate with a pair of doubles as Dudzik added a pair of hits, including an RBI triple. Crawford's RBI double was tops for Middlebury as three other Panthers added singles.

Tamagni (2-2) had an impressive day for Amherst, scattering four hits over seven innings of work for the win. Constantin started the game for Middlebury, pitching two scoreless innings before stepping aside for McAnaney in the third. McAnaney (6-6) pitched the remaining five innings, allowing three earned runs for the loss.