April 15, 2006

Softball falls to Amherst, 3-2, in eight innings

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Amherst College softball team scored one run in the sixth inning and two more in the eighth and survived a pair of rallies to defeat the host Brandeis University Judges, 3-2, in extra innings on Marcus Field today.

Brandeis (13-17) scored the game's first run in the fourth inning when they strung together their first three hits of the contest. With one away, sophomore 1B Kaitlin Streilein (Point Pleasant, N.J.) singled and classmate DP Dani Mayer (Larkspur, Calif.) doubled to put runners on second and third. Senior SS Bri Smith (Tewksbury, Mass.) then singled to right to give the Judges a 1-0 advantage.

Amherst (15-6), which had stranded eight runners through the first five innings, broke through in the sixth. Sophomore Ralina Shaw (Tumwater, Wash.) singled to lead off the inning and pinch runner Emily Bularzik (Braintree, Mass.) alertly moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Rookie LF Alexa Princi (London, England) singled to left field to even the game at 1-1.

The Judges had a chance to win the contest in the bottom of the seventh when rookie 3B Samantha Worth (Londonderry, N.H.) doubled to lead off the inning and pinch runner Caitlin Lukacs (Sodus Point, N.Y.) advanced to third with no out on a wild pitch. Amherst sophomore pitcher Samantha Miller (Newton, Mass.) caught the next batter looking and senior LF Elissa Glucksman's (Stamford, Conn.) line drive was speared by the shortstop, who caught Lukacs off of third for an inning-ending double play.

In the Amherst eighth, with a runner placed on second, a wild pitch put the go-ahead run at third. Sophomore catcher Elizabeth Neckes (Dover, Mass.) delivered with a single to put the Lord Jeffs ahead, 2-1. Three batters later, Princi drove home what proved to be the winning run with her third hit of the day. Brandeis left runners at second and third to give themselves a chance in the bottom of the inning.

With Glucksman placed at second, rookie CF Victoria Roomet (Jamaica, N.Y.) singled in her first at-bat to put runners on the corners. Sophomore pitcher Natalie Volpe (Southington, Conn.) plated Glucksman to cut the lead to 3-2 and put runners on second and third. The next two batters hit the ball to the left side of the infield, leaving the same situation with two outs. Smith came to the plate and gave the ball a ride, but it went to the deepest part of the ballpark where Amherst rookie CF Julia Cummings (Los Angeles, Calif.) hauled it in to end the game.

For Brandeis, Smith was the only multiple hitter in their seven-hit attack, going 2-4 with an RBI. Mayer and Worth had the team's only extra-base hits with doubles. Volpe suffered the loss, despite going all eight innings. She struck out four and walked two, falling to 5-9.

Amherst's Princi was their only multiple hitter, going 3-4 with two RBI, including the game-winner. Miller picked up the win with 4.2 innings of four-hit relief. She whiffed three and walked one to improve to 3-3 on the season.