Rachel Hoerger '06
Photo By Charlie Quigg '09
Sophomore catcher Elizabeth Neckes paces the Jeff offense with a .398 batting average and 18 RBI.

Jeffs Return to NESCAC Tournament

May 3, 2006

AMHERST, MA – With an 18-10 overall record and a 5-3 mark in conference play, the Amherst College softball team returns to the NESCAC Championship Tournament for the first time since 2002. The Jeffs earned the No. 2 seed in the Western division and will square off with the No. 1 seed from the Eastern side, Tufts University (24-12, 7-1 NESCAC East), on Friday at 5 p.m. at tournament host Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.

After finishing in a tie for second place in the division with Middlebury College, Amherst won the tie-breaker (record against common opponents) to end its three-year absence from postseason play. Williams earned the right to host the proceedings by winning the NESCAC West with a flawless 8-0 record in divisional play (26-8 overall). The Ephs will face the No. 2 seed from the East, Trinity College (22-8, 4-4 NESCAC East), on Friday at 2:30 p.m.

The Jeffs have shown incredible improvement this season, winning the most games since 2001, when they finished 19-12. They stand among the NESCAC leaders in most categories, ranking second in team fielding (.946), third in team pitching (2.13 ERA) and fourth in team batting (.293). Senior hurler Miya Warner (Berkeley, CA) has provided most of the defensive output, leading the NESCAC in wins (14-5), opposing batting average (.188) and strikeouts (147), and standing third in ERA (1.59). She also currently ranks 24th in the country in strikeouts per seven innings (8.7) and has tossed 12 complete games this season, including four shutouts and a no-hitter. Sophomore Samantha Miller (Newton, MA) and first-year Maddie Tamagni (Salinas, CA) have provided excellent support on the hill as Miller is tied for the NESCAC lead and ranks 36th in the country with a pair of saves, while Tamagni is 1-0 with an ERA of 1.94.

Amherst’s team batting average (.293) is the highest for a Jeff squad since 2000, when they won 22 games. Sophomore Elizabeth Neckes (Dover, MA) heads the lineup with a .398 average, good for a third-place tie in the conference. She also boasts team-high totals of 35 hits and 18 RBI. Junior Annalise Rodli (La Canada, CA) has come on strong this season, raising her batting average over 150 points from last season (.354) and going six-for-six in stolen base attempts. Senior Laura Trigeiro (Reston, VA) and sophomore Ralina Shaw (Tumwater, WA) have been equally impressive with matching .322 batting averages. Trigeiro has started every game of her collegiate career and has been a model of consistency with a .331 career batting average. Shaw has been on a tear as of late, hitting at a .458 clip over the last seven games. She leads the team in doubles (7), home runs (4) and slugging percentage (.540). The Amherst outfield of senior Rachel Hoerger (Oakland, CA) and rookies Julia Cummings (Los Angeles, CA) and Holly Trace (Northport, AL) has been solid all season as the trio are all hitting just under .300, while Cummings has a team-best 17 runs scored. Rookie Lindsey Harrington (Westford, MA) and junior Caroline Polales (Winnetka, IL) hold down the left side of the infield and provide great all-around support, while sophomore Kelly King (Grosse Pointe Park, MI) and first-years Alexa Princi (London, England) and Emily Bularzik (Braintree, MA) contribute in back-up fashion.

The Jeffs and the Jumbos squared off at the Sun West Tournament, hosted by Chapman University in Los Angeles, Calif. on March 24, when Amherst took a 3-1 victory Warner picked up the victory, allowing just one run on three hits and two walks, while striking out 10. 2005 NESCAC Rookie of the Year Danielle Lopez heads the Jumbo lineup, leading the conference with 11 home runs, 37 runs scored, 42 RBI and 89 total bases, and ranking second in batting average (.402).

2006 NESCAC Softball Championship hosted by Williams College
Friday, May 5
Game 1 – Trinity at Williams – 2:30 p.m.
Game 2 – Amherst vs. Tufts – 5 p.m.
Saturday, May 6
Game 3 – Loser of Gm. 1 vs. Loser of Gm. 2 – 10 a.m.
Game 4 – Winner of Gm. 1 vs. Winner of Gm. 2 – 12:30 p.m.
Game 5 – Winner of Gm. 3 vs. Loser of Gm. 4 – 3 p.m.
Sunday, May 7
Game 6 – Winner of Gm. 4 vs. Winner of Gm. 5 – 10 a.m.
Game 7 (If Necessary) - Immediately Following