Amherst College Softball

Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
Founded: 1821
Enrollment: 1,650 undergraduates
President: Tom Gerety
Colors: Purple and White
Nickname: Lord Jeffs
Affiliations: NESCAC, ECAC, NCAA Division III
Athletic Director: Peter Gooding
Athletic Phone: 413 542-2274
Athletic Fax: 413 542-2026
Home Field: Hill Field
Dimensions: (LF) 200 x (CF) 200 x (RF) 200

Sports Information Director: Irene Cheung
Office Phone: 413 542-2390
Home Phone: 413 256-4139
Fax: 413 542-2527
Address: Public Affairs Office
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Head Coach: Don Faulstick (2nd season)
Alma Mater: Mansfield '86
Record at Amherst: 21-5 (1 year)
Career Record: 21-5 (1 year)
Office Phone: 413 542-2303
Assistant Coach: Sue Everden
Address: Alumni Gymnasium
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

1997 Record: 21-5, ECAC bid
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 12/3
Starters Returning/Lost: 8/1
1998 Captains: Sarah Rinaldi '98, Jen Shea '98
Top Returning Pitcher: Allison Schwarting '00 (13-3, 0.84 ERA, 104 SOs)
Top Returning Catcher: Melissa Roja '98 (.299 BA, .981 FA)
Top Returning Hitter: Sarah Rinaldi '98 (.405 BA, 2 HR)

1998 Season Outlook

Coming off its first post-season apperance in the three-year history of the program, Amherst softball looks to remain among the elite programs in New England behind a young and talented team. The Jeffs return all but one starter from its ECAC squad and they are joined by a group of skilled rookies ready for a challenging spring training schedule that includes a pair of NCAA teams (Wheaton, MA and Tufts) and two more with Division II experience (UMass-Lowell, Keene State).

"There really are no easy games," notes second-year Head Coach Don Faulstick. "Everything will be a battle because we won't be able to sneak up on people any more. They know who we are, so we have to be ready for teams who want revenge. But with such a young team, we're not really old enough to let that pressure get to us. They've had a taste of the playoffs, and they've had some success that they want to keep going. They know the only way to keep this going is to keep working hard "

The Jeffs plowed over opponents in 1997 behind rookie right-hander Allison Schwarting, who recorded 104 strikeouts and a 0.84 ERA (6th best in the nation) with a 13-3 record. The All-ECAC selection registered a pair of 11-strikeout games among her six shutouts, and Schwarting finished her first year as the team's second-leading hitter with a .362 average and 18-for-20 stolen bases. Senior co-captain Jen Shea will continue as a solid second pitcher, posting a 26-19 record and 3.61 ERA over three years.

Amherst returns its leading hitter, co-captain Sarah Rinaldi, who slugged .405 as a junior with 24 RBI and a pair of home runs. Rinaldi will anchor the outfield while junior Vicki Gonzalez returns from injury and is expected to make an impact with her speed and at the plate. Carolina Patino, Kellie Kosewski and Jen Sielicki will also see time in the outfield.

The infield returns in tact with an experienced crew of sophomores and juniors. Melissa Roja will resume her duties as catcher, but not without being challenged by rookie Meghan Nelson, while Darcy Sweeney (.341 BA, .970 FA) and Liza Feldman (.193, 2 HR) have been solid at first base and short stop, respectively. Sandy Accordino (.310, 13 RBI) and Meg Henderson (.295, 18 RBI) return to second and third, and they will be backed by the speed of rookies Carline Kelly, Shari Sakamoto, Jean O'Neil and Lindsay Thomas.

The Class of 1998 is the first to play four years of varsity softball at Amherst College as the team was elevated from club status in the 1995 season. The seniors boast three winning seasons and a 47-27-1 career record.