After returning from their Spring Break trip in California with a record of 9-3, the Ephs were prepared to face a busy first week back on the East Coast by playing RPI, Union, and Wesleyan.
The Ephs’ success out west was the result of the strong senior leadership, and the infusion of new freshmen talent. With their deadly offensive strategy of slapping and bunting from the left side, captain Laura Jacobs ’99, and first-years Jessica Hartley and Gisele Pinck found themselves in scoring position quite often. Defensively, Kathleen Mason ’99, Catherine Bagley ’99, and Chrissy Odre ’02 provided a solid pitching trio, each with a 3-1 record at the end of spring break.
Last Tuesday, Williams faced RPI and their solid defense. The Ephs’ four hits by Jacobs, Laura Brenneman ’99 (.533, 10 RBI), Amanda Robinson ’01, and Pinck, proved to be little threat to the 13 hits by RPI off of starting pitcher Bagley, and reliever Mason. The Ephs were shut out 8-0, which brought their record to 9-4.
After the upsetting defeat on Tuesday, Williams was able to regroup and provide two exciting seventh inning displays for the season opener on Cole Field against Union. Pitcher Odre allowed only two runs as the Ephs went into the bottom of the seventh inning of the first game trailing 2-1. With the bases loaded by Jen Garabedian ’01, Jacobs, and Brenneman, Caitlin Carr ’01 came up with the game-winning double that ended the Dutchwomen’s six game winning streak, by a final score of 3-2.
The second game was just as dramatic with starting pitcher Bagley only allowing one run, and the Ephs going for the win with a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh. With two outs and bases loaded, Union’s hopes of victory were dashed again by Carr, who made a spectacular catch in deep left field to seal the 2-1 win.
On a day with Little Three title implications, Williams faced Wesleyan in a double header on Saturday. The first game resulted in a 5-2 victory for pitcher Mason, and with a mercy ruling in the bottom of the sixth inning, a 12-4 victory went to pitcher Odre for the second game. The deadly combination of quality pitching and a solid defense allowed Williams to shut down the Wesleyan offense. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, their defense proved to be no match for the hitting of Kathleen Higgins ’99 who went 6-7, with four runs, 3 RBI’s, and a home run. Higgins is batting .517 for the year, and has 14 RBIs. Jacobs (6-for-9, .553), Pinck (5-for-8), and Amanda Robinson ’01 (4-for-7, 15 RBI) were also instrumental in the offensive slaughter of the Cardinals.
The week ended with the Williams softball team extending its record to 13-4, and when asked how she felt of the week’s performance senior captain Bagley stated, “The unexpected success out in California apparently made us a little too confident going into Tuesday’s game, but that loss provided the rattling we needed to pull back together as a team and compete like we know how to the rest of the week.” The Ephs next travel to Tufts on Wednesday and host Smith on Saturday.