Neal Allar '08
First-year Emily Neil had a pair of sac flies against Hamilton before belting her 2nd homerun of the year.

Jeffs Take Home Opener Over Hamilton 9-4

By Alex Kantor

March 30, 2007

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College softball team played their home-opener this afternoon at Hill Field at Amherst against the visiting Continentals of Hamilton College. Amherst surrendered an early unearned run in the top of the first inning, but settled in for a convincing 9-4 win.

With the Lord Jeffs trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, first-year Jackie Tyler (Ridgewood, NJ) ripped a grounder through the left side of the infield all the way to the wall for a stand-up triple to lead off. After sophomore Lindsey Harrington (Westford, MA) drew a walk, Tyler stole home before the Continentals could take notice.

Later in the bottom of the first, Harrington moved to third on a passed ball, where first-year shortstop Emily Neil (Kentfield, CA) would knock her home on a deep sacrifice fly to take a 2-1 lead.

The Lord Jeffs cruised through the top of the second frame with first-year pitcher Alex Chang-Graham (San Carlos, CA) mowing down three Hamilton batters in order.

In the home side of the second inning, Harrington approached the plate after a base hit bunt loaded the bases, and showed veteran patience, taking a walk for the RBI. Neil stepped in and bombed her second sac fly of the game to bring the Amherst lead to 4-1. The Lord Jeffs stretched to a 5-1 advantage on a double steal with runners at first and third.

Hamilton would battle back; picking up two runs in the top of the fifth inning, forcing Chang-Graham out of the game, but junior Samantha Miller (Newton, MA) would hang on for Amherst and close out the game.

Amherst would pile on a two more unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, on some defensive lapses from the Continental infield. Neil got a hold of a Megan Coughlin pitch in the sixth stanza, sending her second homerun of the season deep over the left field fence.

Amherst improves to 4-6 on the season, but more important 1-0 in NESCAC West play. The two teams will square off tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. for a doubleheader.