|2007 Softball Season Preview|
Amherst's Rookie Class Adds Significant Depth to Already-Impressive Lord Jeff Squad
February 20, 2007
Amherst earned a #2 seed in the West bracket of the NESCAC tournament and was paired up with the top seed from the East bracket, Tufts University, in the first round. The Jeffs were notched up at 3-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, but Tufts was able to manufacture the game-winning run and send Amherst into the loser’s bracket of the tournament. The Jeffs were involved in another close game in the second round against Trinity College. Trailing 4-0 in the sixth inning, Amherst was able to put three runs together and give Trinity a scare, but the Jeffs could not complete the comeback, as their season ended with a 4-3 loss to the Bantams.
Laura Trigeiro left a huge hole at first base, as she played in and started all 111 of Amherst’s games over the past four seasons. Trigeiro finished her career with 39 RBIs, a .333 batting average and .412 slugging percentage, while striking out only 14 times in 354 at-bats. She was just as impressive in the field, posting a .967 career fielding percentage.
Rachel Hoerger started in 100 of Amherst’s 111 games during her four years, providing a solid bat at the end of the lineup and a consistent glove in the outfield. Her best season came in 2005, when she batted .301 with a .362 on-base percentage, struck out just twice in 73 at-bats, stole five bases and posted a .968 fielding percentage.
Amherst’s junior class consists of Kelly King, Elizabeth Neckes, Ralina Shaw and Samantha Miller. Neckes will provide a majority of the catching duties and will look to lead the Jeffs at the plate once again after batting .368 last season with a .463 slugging percentage. King will play mostly in the outfield, but could step in to share time with Neckes behind the plate.
Shaw will join Rodli in the middle infield, spending most of her time at second base while providing the Jeffs with another solid bat. While starting in 29 of Amherst’s 30 games last season, Shaw batted .323 with a .527 slugging percentage, belting four home runs and picking up seven doubles. Miller will help fill the void left by Warner, having pitched in eight games last season to finish with a pair of shutouts and a 3.23 ERA.
The six sophomores will cover a lot of ground and have the potential to fill in any gap. Julia Cummings and Alexa Princi batted .279 and .257 last season, respectively, and bring some speed to the base paths, as the two combined for eight stolen bases in 2006. They will both spend most of their time in the outfield, but Cummings has the ability to play second base and Princi may need to step into the first baseman role with the absence of Trigeiro.
Lindsey Harrington started in 26 of the Jeffs’ games last season and provides another solid glove at shortstop, while Holly Trace started in 27 games and will look to split time as a right fielder and catcher. Both Harrington and Trace were successful at the plate last season, as they each picked up 23 hits and combined for 18 RBIs. Emily Bularzik has the potential to play virtually anywhere in the field, as she will spend time as both an infielder and outfielder to give Amherst more depth.
Also looking to fill the void left by Warner is Maddie Tamagni, who appeared in seven games last season as a pitcher. Through 21.2 innings of work, Tamagni struck out 21 batters and recorded a 1.94 ERA with a record of 1-0. She may also see some time at first base this season.
Jacqueline Tyler will be another speedster for the Jeffs with the ability to hit first or second in the lineup, and will spend most of her time in center field. Emily Neill will provide more depth to the infield, and Anne Kelly will share time behind the plate. All five first-year players will be tremendous assets at the plate and on the base paths.
Although the squad of 16 is larger than in the past, Everden likes how the team is deeper and faster and expects contributions to come from everyone. The younger players will be forced to play important roles, but Everden is excited to see what they can do in tough situations. She is also looking forward to coaching with Lynn Hersey again, who took over the head coaching duties last season when Everden took on the role of interim athletic director at Amherst. The team will also welcome Michelle DiPolo, who will act as a second assistant and work with the pitchers and catchers.
Amherst has a challenging season ahead, but the Jeffs hope to return from California tougher and ready to charge for a NESCAC title.
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