Softball Falls To Amherst In Game One

April 17, 2009

Amherst pounded out 18 hits en route to a 16-1, five inning win over Middlebury in the first game of a pivotal three-game NESCAC West series on Friday. The victory pushed the Jeffs (16-5, 4-2) into sole possession of second place in the West Division, while the Panthers fall to 12-12 overall and 4-6 in conference action. The teams return on Saturday for a double-header starting at noon.

Amherst built a 6-0 lead before Middlebury got on the board in the third inning. The Panthers' Amelia Magistrali knocked a shot down the left field line, scoring Nellie Wood from second base for an RBI single. That was all the scoring Middlebury could muster off Jeff hurler Alex Chang-Graham who entered the game with a sparkling 12-1 record and a 1.29 ERA.

Amherst sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth inning, adding four more runs on three hits for a 10-1 lead. Bases-loaded RBI singles by Annemaire Iker and Chang-Graham highlighted the scoring. A pair of bases-loaded walks issued by Panther starter Ali McAnaney forced in the other two runs in the inning.

In the fifth, Ashley Higgins relieved McAnaney, but the Jeffs bats stayed hot, scoring six more runs as 11 batters took aim at Higgins in the inning. Holly Trace scorched a double down the left field line for two RBI as six other Jeffs added singles in the inning for a 16-1 lead. Chang-Graham shut down the Panthers in the bottom of the fifth, sealing the win.

Magistrali went 1/3 on the day with an RBI, while Emily Burbridge added a double for Middlebury. Amherst was led by Carly Dudzik's three hit, two RBI performance as five other Jeffs had multiple hits. Trace had a game-high three RBI for Amherst.

Chang-Graham improved to 13-1 from the circle for Amherst, striking out five and allowing one unearned run. McAnaney (6-5) took the loss, allowing 10 runs, seven earned, over four innings of work, while Higgins pitched the final inning, allowing six earned runs, while striking out two Jeffs.