Annalise Rodli '07
Senior co-captain Annalise Rodli continued her hot hitting by ripping a 2-RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning

Amherst Uses Four-Run Sixth to Move Past WNEC, 5-2

By Justin Long

April 10, 2007

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College softball team trailed visiting Western New England College 2-0 after the first inning, but first-year hurler Alex Chang-Graham (San Carlos, CA) was nearly perfect the rest of the way, surrendering just one hit in the final six innings. The Lord Jeffs rallied for four runs in the sixth inning and held on for the 5-2 victory to move to 8-11 on the season, dropping WNEC to 12-9.

Chang-Graham struck out the side to open the game, but not before Meredith Pacelli plated Lauren Arsenault and Kate Post with a 2-RBI single to give the Golden Bears an early lead. The first-year settled down in the second inning, punching out the first two hitters before getting Post to pop up for the third out.

First-year catcher Anne Kelly (Littleton, CO) led off the bottom of the second with what seemed to be a routine fly, but the ball continued to carry until it landed just beyond the left field fence for her first home run of the season and Amherst’s first run of the game.

The Jeffs had runners on second and third with no outs in the third inning, but sophomore Laura Bower got three consecutive outs by way of the strikeout to end the threat. Chang-Graham did not let the Golden Bears gather any momentum at the plate, however, as the first-year retired 12 batters in a row before allowing a hit with two outs in the top of the fifth.

First-year Emily Neill (Kentfield, CA) gave Amherst a temporary 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth when she belted one over the left field fence, plating junior Ralina Shaw (Tumwater, WA), but it became a tie game when the umpire declared that Neill did not touch home plate. Shaw’s run stood, but Neill was only credited with an RBI-triple.

After Kelly grounded out for the second out of the sixth, it seemed as though Amherst was going to pay for the base-running miscue, but senior co-captain Caroline Polales (Winnetka, IL) got things going again when she drew a walk. Sophomore Julia Cummings (Los Angeles, CA) ripped an RBI-double to give the Jeffs a lead that stood, and, after back-to-back walks, senior co-captain Annalise Rodli (La Canada, CA) drove in Cummings and sophomore Lindsey Harrington (Westford, MA) for a pair of insurance runs.

Chang-Graham picked up two more Ks in the seventh to move her game total to 10, as Amherst held on for the 5-2 victory. Cummings was the only Jeff to pick up multiple hits, connecting for two doubles and an RBI, while Post went 2-for-3 to lead the Golden Bears.

Bower’s eight strikeouts were trumped by her five walks, four of which came in the sixth inning. Chang-Graham allowed just five hits and walked one, as the first-year moves to 4-8 with the win.

The Lord Jeffs return to action Thursday for a doubleheader with Westfield State College at home. Game one is set to start at 4 p.m.

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