April 14, 2007

Softball swept at Amherst, 9-0 & 6-1

AMHERST, Mass. (taken from an Amherst College press release) -- The Brandeis University softball team dropped a pair of non-conference contests today, losing a doubleheader to host Amherst College, 9-0 and 6-1.

Amherst (10-12) needed only five innings to pick up the 9-0 win in the first game, as first-year Alex Chang-Graham pitched four innings of one-hit ball before handing the game off to sophomore Maddie Tamagni, who sealed the deal.

After Chang-Graham retired the side in order to open the first game, first-year Jackie Tyler reached on a bunt single and was moved over by an Annalise Rodli (La Canada, CA) infield single. First-year Emily Neill drove in Tyler and Rodli with a double, and junior Ralina Shaw scored when Brandeis threw to first to get the second out of the inning, as Amherst came out of the first inning with a 3-0 lead.

Brandeis rookie catcher Erin Ross (Manalapan, N.J.) led off the top of the third by giving the Judges their first hit of the day, but Chang-Graham retired the next three batters in order. In the bottom half of the frame, the Jeffs had a second-and-third situation when senior co-captain Caroline Polales moved Neill and sophomore Holly Trace over with a groundout. Sophomore Julia Cummings followed with a 2-RBI single to give Amherst a 5-0 lead.

Chang-Graham got right back to work in the fourth, sitting down the side in order once again. The Amherst bats stayed hot, as Rodli picked up her third hit of the game to get things going and junior Liz Neckes followed with a walk. After Rodli scored on a throwing error and Neill drove in Neckes with a single, Trace belted a 2-run homer to left field, giving the Jeffs a 9-0 lead.

Tamagni came in to pitch the fifth and final inning, picking up a pair of strikeouts to close out the win. Chang-Graham (5-8) struck out four batters in the game, allowing just one hit. First-year Allie Mussen (5-4) picked up the loss for the Judges, striking out three Jeffs in the game.

Junior Samantha Miller took the hill for the Jeffs in game two, pacing the hosts to a 6-1 win. She retired the first nine batters of the game. Tyler got things going offensively for Amherst, leading the game off with a double to left center. Tyler advanced to third on a passed ball and scored when Rodli grounded out to the shortstop.

Rookie SS Chelsea Korp (Worcester, Mass.) broke up Miller's perfect game in the fourth when she led off with a single, but Miller retired the next three batters to quickly end the threat. The Jeffs got back to work in their half of the fourth when Polales tallied her second hit of the game, followed by a Lindsey Harrington single. Rodli kept things going with her fifth hit of the day, driving in Tyler with a single to give Amherst a 4-0 lead.

The Judges' most productive stretch came in the top of the fifth when they racked up three singles, with senior RF Marissa Rubin (Teaneck, N.J.) driving in her team's lone run of the day. The Jeffs responded with two runs of their own in the fifth, with Polales and sophomore Alexa Princi each picking up RBIs.

Tamagni came in to pitch two innings of no-hit ball, once again closing out the win for Amherst, as the Jeffs held on for the 6-1 victory. Miller struck out pair, improving to 4-2 with the win. Rookie Emily Vaillette (Milford, N.H.) picked up the loss for Brandeis, striking out four in six innings of work to fall to 3-3 on the season.