Four Amherst Players Named to Academic All-District Team

Alex Chang-Graham '10

AMHERST, MA – Amherst College’s Alex Chang-Graham ’10 (San Carlos, CA), Emily Neill ’10 (Kentfield, CA), Jackie Tyler ’10 (Ridgewood, NJ) and Carly Dudzik ’12 (Darien, CT) have been named to the 2010 ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Team for softball, as announced today by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

To be nominated for and selected to an Academic All-District Team, student-athletes must demonstrate outstanding athletic success while maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30. Nominations and voting for the All-America programs are conducted by sports information directors across the country.

Thirty-eight student-athletes from 29 schools were honored in District 1, with Amherst joining Springfield (2), Brandeis (2), Ithaca (3) and Franklin Pierce (3) as the only colleges with multiple All-District recipients. Four of the six NESCAC honorees play for Amherst, as the Lord Jeffs join Brittany Tasi ’10 of Colby and Geena Constantin ’11 of Middlebury as the conference’s 2010 selections.

Chang-Graham highlights Amherst’s group as the only First Team selection from the NESCAC. This is her third consecutive year appearing on an All-District list, as she was named to the Third Team as a sophomore and to the First Team a year ago. All First Team selections are now eligible for the Academic All-America Team, which will be announced Wednesday, May 26. No Amherst softball player has ever been named to an Academic All-America Team.

Carly Dudzik '12

As a chemistry major with a GPA above 3.90, Chang-Graham is one of the most successful student-athletes in Amherst softball history. A two-time NESCAC All-Academic and All-Conference First Team selection, she was named the NESCAC’s Pitcher of the Week three times in her career. Chang-Graham won nine games with a 2.42 earned run average this season, giving her 39 career victories and a four-year ERA of 2.28. She finished her collegiate career with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly 6-to-1, with 44 complete games and 10 shutouts to her credit.

In addition to being the only NESCAC student-athlete named to the All-District Second Team, Dudzik is one of only six sophomores to earn the honor from District 1. A psychology major at Amherst, she has become one of the best run-producers and shortstops in the conference. Dudzik was named the 2009 NESCAC Rookie of the Year after leading Amherst in batting average (.457), runs (31) and on-base percentage (.514), also earning a spot on the All-Conference Second Team.

This season, Dudzik led Amherst in RBIs (29), runs scored (33) and home runs (4) and tied for the lead in doubles (10). She also finished second on the team in hits (36), walks (14), stolen bases (10-for-10), slugging percentage (.527) and on-base percentage (.403). Dudzik has started in all 61 of Amherst’s games these past two years.

Jackie Tyler '10

Joining Chang-Graham as team captains this year were Tyler and Neill, who each landed on the Academic All-District Third Team. This is Tyler’s third consecutive appearance on the list of District 1 honorees, as she was named to the Second Team as a sophomore and First Team as a junior. Tyler majors in sociology and is a two-time NESCAC All-Academic Team selection.

Tyler will graduate as one of the most exceptional softball players in Amherst history. A three-time All-NESCAC selection, she burst onto the scene by leading the conference in batting average (.513), slugging percentage (.744) and on-base percentage (.562) as a first-year. Tyler holds the program’s career records for batting average (.399), runs scored (104), hits (161) and stolen bases (47), as well as single-season records for batting average (.513) and hits (46). She was also a pitcher’s dream in center field, turning countless would-be base hits into routine plays throughout her career and posting a .981 fielding percentage as a senior.

Rounding out Amherst’s honorees is Neill, who is making her first appearance on the Academic All-District Team. A history major and pre-med student, Neill has twice earned NESCAC All-Academic Team honors. She finished with career highs this season in runs scored (28), hits (33), triples (2), slugging percentage (.582), walks (29) and on-base percentage (.516), also finishing second on the team in batting average (.363), home runs (3) and RBIs (21).

Emily Neill '10

Neill’s knack for being clutch led to her league-leading 29 walks, as no other player in the NESCAC had walked more than 14 times entering this week. She holds the school’s career record for RBIs (93) as the only player in program history to drive in at least 20 runs in four consecutive years. She also posted a .339 lifetime batting average as a Lord Jeff, racking up 114 hits, 28 doubles, 10 home runs and 66 walks.  

Chang-Graham, Neill and Tyler helped Amherst win 65 games in four years, with their best season coming in 2009 when the Lord Jeffs posted a 19-8 record.

A complete list of 2010 ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District honorees can be found on the CoSIDA website.