Softball rebounds from Midd. sweep with split against Springfield

Women’s softball (9-9, 0-3 in the NESCAC) split its series against Springfield on Monday, breaking a four-game losing streak. The Ephs came from behind in the first game of the series to beat the Pride 12-10 but lost 7-1 in the second game. After a series of cancelled games against Colby and Wellesley, Middlebury swept the women in a three-game series on Friday and Saturday. The Ephs finished their spring training trip with an 8-5 record.

“We played well [at Springfield],” Head Coach Kris Herman said. “Our lead-off hitter and our 7-8-9 hitters all got home runs, which is good. It’s important to get hits throughout the lineup.”

Williams went down early in the late game, trailing 4-0 after two innings. The Ephs came back twice in the game. Amanda Correnti ’13 and co-captain Carly Ameen ’11 started the women’s first comeback with back-to-back home runs in the third. The Ephs still trailed 5-2 in the fourth when Kaitlin Dinet ’13 hit a two-run homer with two outs, tightening the game to 5-4.

Springfield rallied in the bottom of the fourth, scoring four runs to pull ahead 9-4. The women responded in kind, scoring eight runs on seven hits in the top of the fifth. Rookie Theresa Legan ’14 hit a lead-off homer and Ally Ensor ’14 knocked in a run with a single to make the game 9-6. Merrilee Weston ’13 followed with a two-run single to make the score 9-8 in Springfield’s favor. Dinet, Correnti and co-captain Caitlyn Cain ’11 finished the job and scored three runs to put the women up 12-8. Mary Beth Daub ’11 picked up the win for the Ephs: She pitched seven innings and gave up 10 runs, nine earned, on 13 hits.

The women lost the second game 7-1 on Monday. Dinet hit a home run in the first inning, giving the Ephs their only run on the night. The Pride returned fire, scoring two runs in each the first, second and third innings, bringing the score to 6-1 after three innings. Dinet, Ensor and Blair Curzi ’14 each had hits in the Ephs’ loss. Megan Casey ’13 took the loss on the mound.

“Our defense – and our offense – has let us down on a number of occasions,” Herman said. “You can’t lose both. You need offense and defense to win.”

Herman cited an injury to Allison Hart ’12 as a factor. “That [injury has] shaken things up, and it is part of the problem,” she said. “We’ve got people moving in and out of positions, and it’s certainly affected our game.”

Due to a series of cancellations, including games against Colby and a non-conference game against Wellesley, the Ephs’ played their first game after spring break against Middlebury. Heading into the game, Williams had posted an 8-5 record over spring break, with all five losses coming in the final days of their training trip.

Williams fell on Friday and Saturday  to NESCAC rival Middlebury. The Ephs lost 5-0 on Friday and 13-2 and 5-1 in their double header on Saturday. Megan Casey ’13 pitched on Friday: She went six innings and allowed five runs on nine hits. Casey, Daub and Dinet all saw innings in the opening game of the double header, and Casey pitched a complete game in the late game.

Williams fell early in the opening game of the series at Middlebury, going down 3-0 in the first four innings. Panther pitcher Geena Constantin held the Ephs at bay, allowing no hits until the fifth when Daub broke up the no-hitter with a one-out double to center. The Ephs got hits in each of the remaining innings but were unable to score.

“Midd[lebury] just handled us. There’s no other way to say it,” Herman said. “Our offense wasn’t there, and we couldn’t get anything going.”
The  Ephs started Saturday’s double header with Cain scoring on a wild pitch after drawing a lead-off walk to give Williams a 1-0 lead. Middlebury responded quickly, scoring two runs to take a 2-1 lead. The two teams continued to battle, but the Panthers pulled away in the third, notching five runs on three hits to take an 11-1 lead. Carly Ameen ’11 hit a triple in the fourth to send Ali Graebner ’14 home. Daub took the loss for the Ephs and allowed nine runs and seven hits over two innings.

The Ephs took an early lead again in the first inning of the late game. Ensor hit a short single with two on in the first: A bad throw to home allowed Cain to score from third and give the women a 1-0 lead. The Ephs held the lead until the third inning when a pair of errors and two wild pitches gave the Panthers the opportunity to take a 2-1 advantage. Middlebury scored again in the fourth and the sixth to make the final score 5-1.
“The good news [and] bad news of the situation is that there’s no silver bullet,” Herman said. “We just need to get back to basics, working on individual core skills. There’s no part of our team that has or will give up. We’ll keep battling and trying to find our way.”
The women lost to Tufts 6-5 on March 31 after compiling an 8-5 record over spring break, when they got the opportunity to face Trinity, New Paltz St., Oberlin and Franklin.

Williams heads to Keene State for a double header on Wednesday. First pitches will be at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.