Julia Cummings '09
Photo By Erik Andrews '09
Rookie Julia Cummings was 1-for-4 on Wednesday with an RBI and a pair of runs scored.

Jeffs Squeezed by Smith, 7-6

April 19, 2006

by Matthew Bires '07

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College softball team rallied late in the game but came up a bit short, as Smith College held on to secure a 7-6 non-conference victory in Wednesday afternoon’s contest. The Jeffs fell to 15-8 on the season, while Smith improved to 15-13 with the win.

The Pioneers were first to light up the scoreboard, posting a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on an RBI single to the gap in left by first-year Emily Hiltzik (Westbury, NY).  The Jeffs threatened to open the game up in the bottom of the third, loading the bases with two outs after hits by junior Annalise Rodli (La Canada, CA) and senior Laura Trigeiro (Reston, VA), and a fielder’s choice by first-year Julia Cummings (Los Angeles, CA).  However, in what would become the theme of the day for the Jeffs, Smith first-year hurler Emily Hiltzick (Westbury, NY) forced sophomore shortstop Elizabeth Neckes (Dover, MA) to pop out to short, ending the inning and stranding the runners.

The game remained 1-0 through four innings until the Pioneers notched four runs on four hits to take a 5-0 lead in the fifth frame, ending a tough outing for Amherst sophomore pitcher Sam Miller (Newton, MA).  First-year Maddie Tamagni (Salinas, CA) came in off the bench to relieve Miller and got the Jeffs out of the inning without incurring any further damage.  Amherst began to show a little life in the bottom of the fifth.  After some clever base-running from Rodli, which put her on third, Trigeiro was walked and, in an apparent attempt to give the Jeffs a little life, she tried to steal second.  Rodli was quick on the take and managed to score, putting the Jeffs on the board before Trigeiro was thrown out at second.

Amherst threatened again in the sixth, posting a huge three-run rally that brought the Jeffs within one, after big hits from Cummings, sophomore Ralina Shaw (Tumwater, WA) and junior Caroline Polales (Winnetka, IL), and several costly errors by the Pioneers.  Smith responded with a two-run rally of their own in the top of the seventh extending their lead to 7-4.  In a valiant final attempt, the Jeffs posted two runs in the bottom of the seventh on clutch hits by Neckes and Shaw, as well as a tough play by sophomore Kelly King (Grosse Pointe Par, MI) who took a heater off the forearm to get on base.  Unfortunately, the Jeffs left two on in the final inning of play, totaling nine left-on-base for the day.

Amherst returns to action Saturday at 1 p.m. at Hamilton College for a NESCAC West doubleheader.