Jeffs Finish Season With Loss to Cortland

Contact: Ben Badua

Earning its first NCAA Championship berth since 1999, Amherst finished with a program-record 36 wins.

AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst softball team’s record-breaking season came to an end Sunday with a 4-1 loss to top-seeded Cortland at the 2012 Amherst, Mass. Softball Regional Championship.

Cortland senior starter Lyndsay Rowell (19-5) lasted 4.2 innings in the win, surrendering one run on three hits, while Morgan Kuhn ’12 allowed just one hit in 2.1 scoreless frames of relief. Sophomore counterpart Arielle Doering (Brancburg, N.J.) took the loss after giving up four runs on four hits, while Theresa Kelley ’13 (Los Angeles, Calif.) closed out the game with 4.2 hitless innings.

Lorraine Stoddard ’12 went 1-for-2 with an RBI for the Red Dragons, while Lucia Meola ’13, Abby Martin ’12 and Nicole Gallo ’13 accounted for the rest of Cortland’s four base-knocks. Karina Kossler ’15 (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was the lone Jeff to record multiple hits, while Kaitlin Silkowitz ’14 (Scarsdale, N.Y.) finished 1-for-2.

Hoping to jump out to an early lead, Cortland loaded the bases in the bottom of the first with one out. Plating the game’s first run on junior Kayla Lynch’s grounder to short, the Red Dragons doubled their lead on consecutive illegal pitches. Looking for more with runners on the corners, Jessica Harman roped a ball into the right centerfield gap, but Donna Leet ’15 (Seattle, Wash.) made a diving catch to save two runs and get the Jeffs out of the inning.

Continuing to go on the offensive the following frame, Red Dragons put runners on second and third to set the plate for Stoddard, who delivered an RBI single to right. With the throw home sailing to the backstop, Meola followed Gallo across the plate to extend the Cortland lead to 4-0.

Searching for its first run, Amherst looked to get going in the top of the third after an Idalia Friedson ’15 (Trumbull, Conn.) lead-off single. Loading the bases with one out after consecutive walks, Leet put the Jeffs on the board with a ground out to second. Regrouping, Rowell settled in and limited the damage by popping up Reilly Horan ’13 (Darien, Conn.) to end the Amherst threat.

With Kuhn retiring four-straight after relieving Rowell in the fifth, the Jeffs hoped to string something together in the seventh, but the Cortland reliever shut the door on Amherst’s comeback bid, striking out Friedson before getting Kelsey Ayers ’15 (Los Altos, Calif.) to line into a double play to seal the win.

Earning its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1999, the Lord Jeffs got off to the best start in program history (22-0) before splitting a doubleheader with fellow Amherst, Mass. Regional participant Keene State on Apr. 6. Rebounding to win 11 of their final 12 regular season games, the Jeffs broke into the NFCA top-25 for the first time since 2000, while securing the top seed in the NESCAC Championship for the first time in school history.

Returning to the national tournament after a 12-year absence, Amherst went 2-2 at this year’s Regional, upping its all-time NCAA Championship mark to 5-6, while finishing with a program-best 36 wins.