Amherst Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive with 9-0 Win at Hamilton

Courtesy of Hamilton College Sports Information

CLINTON, NY – Alex Chang-Graham '10 (San Carlos, CA) pitched a four-hit shutout to lead the Amherst College softball team to a 9-0 win over Hamilton College in a pivotal NESCAC West game that was stopped after five innings due to the eight-run mercy rule at Hamilton's Ferguson Fields Wednesday afternoon. 

Chang-Graham (8-7) struck out four and walked just one. She escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth inning by striking out pinch-hitter Kristen Pallen '12 for the final out.

Emily Neill '10 (Kentfield, CA) doubled, tripled and drove in three runs to pace the Amherst offense. Jackie Tyler '10 (Ridgewood, NJ) was 2-for-2 with two walks, as the team's three senior captains led the Jeffs to a pivotal win that kept them in the playoff hunt. 

Carly Dudzik '12 (Darien, CT) hammered her 11th double of the season, added a single and drove in three runs. Christina Anderson '13 (Port St. Lucie, FL) and Stephanie Clegg '12 (Woburn, MA) chipped in with two hits apiece. Theresa Kelley '13 (Los Angeles, CA) doubled in a run and Megan Kepnach '13 (Piscataway, NJ) drove in a pair.

Melissa Kaknis '13, Liz Farrington '10, Leigh Sherrow '11 and Amy Appel '13 had one single each for the Continentals. Appel (3-16) pitched all five innings and took the loss.

The Lord Jeffs (17-14 overall, 5-4 NESCAC West) scored three runs with two outs in the top of the third inning. Dudzik's two-run double to right center and Neill's RBI-triple down the right field line were the key hits in the inning.

Amherst clinched the victory with a six-run fifth inning. Tyler led off with her second bunt single of the afternoon and moved to second on Anderson's single to left, eventually scoring on a Dudzik single up the middle. Neill followed with a double to deep center that scored Anderson and Dudzik. After Clegg singled to left, Kelley doubled to right center and Neill scored to make it 7-0. The next batter popped out to second, but Kepnach's single just to the left side of second base plated the final two runs.

Hamilton (4-22, 0-12) will host Utica College for a non-conference doubleheader Friday, Apr. 30. The Jeffs travel to West Division leader Williams College for a single game on Friday. Amherst will need to sweep the Ephs this weekend to qualify for the NESCAC Championship.