Softball sweeps Hamilton, splits doubleheader with Middlebury

Maybe the best things in life really do come in small packages. The visiting Hamilton softball team would likely agree with you after watching 5’ 2″ Williams pitcher Kate Deluca ’03 throw a one hitter and eight scoreless innings to lead the Ephs to a pair of victories- 8-0 in game one and 4-0 in game two. With the two wins, Williams pushes its record to 8-12 while Hamilton falls to 3-11.

After coming on in the fifth inning to close game one, Deluca started game two and surrendered only a hit and one walk over seven innings to extend her streak of scoreless innings to 17.

“I think I was really effective changing speeds today, keeping the batters off balance. But I had a lot of help behind me too. The girls all played great defense. It was a real team effort,” Deluca said. Strong play by all of the infielders, which included an acrobatic over the shoulder catch in foul territory by Laura Noel ’06, helped secure the two wins.

Game one saw another dominating pitching performance as well, as Katherine Baldwin ’03 pitched four strong scoreless innings for the win before being replaced by Deluca after being hit in the arm at the plate. With Baldwin dominating at the mound, the Ephs were free to swing away, stringing together for a three run first inning and a four run fourth inning to jump out to a 7-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth.

Leading the Ephs offensively was Alana Frost ’06, going 4-4 with a couple of RBIs in game one. Fittingly, it would be Frost who would cross the plate on a wild pitch to end the game for the eight run margin. Kerri McMahon ’05 and Tracey Henderson ’03 both had outstanding days at the plate as well for the victors.

As good as Deluca, Baldwin and Frost were, the truth was that all of the Ephs played well in all facets of the game – offensively, defensively and pitching.

“Ordinarily, at the end of the game, we single out a handful of players who played well in the game, but today you couldn’t do that – everyone who came into the game contributed and played well for us,” Head Coach Fran Vandermeer said after her team won its third straight game and its first two home games of the season.

On April 13, the Ephwomen were scheduled to play a doubleheader against Tufts and on April 8, they were slated to play Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). However, both games were cancelled due to poor weather conditions. The RPI game has been rescheduled for April 21 at Doris Robinson Field at RPI, but no makeup date has been decided on for the doubleheader with Tufts.

However, on April 6 the Ephs were supposed to play the Middlebury Panthers, but due to poor field conditions at Middlebury, the softball team was forced to play its double-header at Wesleyan. The Ephs left with a split against Middlebury, dropping the first 8-7, but bouncing back in game two for an 11-5 win. With the split, the Ephs move to 6-12 for the season while Middlebury pushed its record to 4-7.

Baldwin started the first game for the Ephs and through four innings had given up only a run on three hits. In the fifth inning though Baldwin ran into some trouble as the Middlebury bats heated up for four runs off two hits and a wild pitch.

Trailing 5-4 the Ephs rallied for a three run sixth inning sparked by doubles by Frost and McMahon putting Williams up 7-5. Clara Hard ’06 pitched a scoreless sixth but in the seventh a two run homer by Panther outfielder Christina Freyer evened the game at 7-7. A two-out RBI single by Laura Legere then gave Middlebury an 8-7 victory.

Things did not look like they were going to get any better in game two when Middlebury scored five runs in the first inning off Hard. Deluca came on in relief in for Hard and quickly silenced the Middlebury bats over the remaining 6 innings, giving the Ephs a chance to get back into the game if they could string some hits together at the plate. However, the Ephs were only able to muster a lone run in the fourth off a wild pitch, plating Baldwin.

Staring at the possibility of an eighth consecutive loss, the Ephs came alive down the stretch scoring three runs in the sixth on four hits including an RBI triple by McMahon.

In the seventh the Ephs exploded for a seven run rally on eight hits, two coming on an RBI double from Liz Gluck ’05. Deluca, working with a six-run cushion, conceded nothing, retiring three of four batters in the seventh to give the Ephs an 11-5 victory and end the team’s seven game skid.

Kristin Massimiano ’03 went 6-9 at the plate with a pair of RBIs and Baldwin went 5-8 with 3 RBIs to lead the Ephs at the plate. For Middlebury, sophomore Megan McCarthy collected four hits on the afternoon to lead the Panthers.

Next up for the Ephs is a doubleheader on Wednesday against Smith College that will be played at home.