Senior co-captain Rachel Hoerger finished 43rd in the nation last year with just two strikeouts in 80 plate appearances, while posting a .301 batting average.
Talented Senior Contingent Leads Jeffs in 2006
February 23, 2006
The Amherst College softball team finished at 14-12-1 (4-4 NESCAC West) in 2005, narrowly missing out on post-season competition in the final weekend of play. The squad posted a pair of three-game win streaks– outscoring their opponents by a combined 20-1 in each sweep– en route to a third-place showing in the NESCAC West. The Jeffs got out to a 4-0-1 start on their spring break trip to Fort Myers, Fla., where they picked up five wins overall, including 10-0 thrashings of Lesley College and Wilmington College. Amherst split with Wesleyan University before smashing Hamilton College in both games of a doubleheader, 8-0 and 6-1, to glide to a 3-1 divisional record mid-season. The team followed their pair of victories over the Continentals with a 6-0 pounding of Clark University and a 3-2 win over Brandeis University. Amherst took one from NESCAC West foe Middlebury before dropping two games to archrival and eventual NESCAC champion Williams College by slim margins in the final weekend of regular season play. The Jeffs finished first in the NESCAC in opposing batting average (.180), fewest runs allowed (63) and fewest hits allowed (121), while claiming a conference second-best earned run average (1.65), batters struck out (188), fewest walks allowed (40) and fewest earned runs allowed (43).
Amherst graduates co-captain outfielders Greta Anderson and Kathryn Honderd. The pair led Amherst to just over a .500 winning percentage (56-55-1) in their four-year tenure, including winning seasons in both their rookie and senior campaigns. Anderson, a consistent defensive specialist, was a steady force in left field for the Jeffs, and leaves big shoes to fill this spring. Honderd, who returns as an assistant coach in 2006, was a versatile and dedicated member of the team during her career, filling in for nearly all field positions, and was a dedicated and tremendous leader for the program.
Senior co-captain hurler Miya Warner leads the way for Amherst’s returners after finishing first in the NESCAC last season in earned run average (1.01), opposing batting average (.133), fewest hits allowed (45), and fewest runs allowed (20). She also finished second in the conference in batters struck out (130) and third in wins (11). A First-Team All-NESCAC pick in her rookie and junior seasons, Warner was also a First-Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District and NESCAC Spring All-Academic selection a year ago. Junior Hilary Little, who was 13th in the NESCAC in earned run average last season (1.76), and sophomore Samantha Miller, who finished third in the conference in games finished (9) and games in relief (10), will split pitching responsiblity with Warner.
Senior Laura Trigiero, juniors Caroline Polales and Annalise Rodli, and sophomore Ralina Shaw lead a prolific infield and will also be instrumental this season as the Jeffs aim to pump up their offense to match their stalwart defense. Amherst’s most important offensive key will be third-baseman Polales, who led the team in hitting last season, boasting a .337 average and a team-best 28 hits, including eight doubles. Rodli looks to improve on an impressive sophomore campaign and will be called on to help lead the squad both offensively and defensively. Shaw batted in an incredible 24 runs last season, good for fifth in the NESCAC, and racked up a conference-leading 11 doubles. She posted a .313 batting average and led the team in extra base hits and home runs, and will be an indispensable factor in Amherst’s offense this spring. Trigiero is an explosive player and will seek to fulfill her immense potential in her final season, after leading the team in hitting in her first two seasons. After a stellar first-year campaign that included Second-Team All-NESCAC plaudits, Elizabeth Neckes will resume catching duties in addition to contributing in the outfield, and will be called on this season to lead the team from behind the plate. She finished last season at fourth in the conference in fielding percentage (.994), and the team expects impressive strides in her sophomore year.
Senior co-captain Rachel Hoerger leads the Jeffs’ outfield after posting a terrific junior season as both an offensive and defensive contributor. With a stellar eye at the plate, Hoeger earned Second-Team All-NESCAC honors after finishing 43rd in the nation with only two strikeouts in 80 plate appearances, while posting a .301 batting average and committing a single error in the field on the season. Sophomores Kelly King and Giuliana Garcia will both contribute in the outfield, while King will also share catching duties.
The 2006 Amherst squad, which first-year head coach Lynn Hersey touts as supremely talented, dedicated and driven, will have their strengths tested early as they travel to Southern California for a competitive invitational spring break tournament for the first time in program history. The team faces two-time defending national champion St. Thomas College (MN) as well as second-ranked NAIA opponent Simon Fraser College and takes on NESCAC rival Tufts University, ranked fourth in New England, before returning home for their regular season slate.
Eight first-years help fill out an athletic, versatile and well-crafted squad this spring. Maddie Tamagni will solidify a four-pitcher rotation, while Amherst will look to Julia Cummings and Holly Trace to make an immediate impact at the plate as well as in the outfield. Alexa Princi, Lindsey Harrington, and sophomore Stacey Johnston will add footspeed, toughness and athleticism to the line-up, while offering all-around contribution in both the infield and outfield. Sarah Ellis and Emily Bularzik also join the team and look to make an impression both offensively and defensively.