Softball stymied by RPI, tied for 2nd in West

Softball (14-13-1, 5-4 in the NESCAC West) dropped both games of its doubleheader against RPI on Monday. The team lost its first game 8-2 and fell 10-3 in the second game. On Friday and Saturday, the women swept a three-game series against Hamilton. They took the doubleheader on Friday, shutting out Hamilton 5-0 in the first game and cruising to a 10-2 win in the second game. The Ephs also won the rubber match 6-5 on Saturday to complete the sweep. Finally, the women tied Keene State 2-2 in the second game of their doubleheader on Thursday after dropping the first game by an 8-3 margin.

A leadoff double gave RPI the early advantage against Williams in the second game of the doubleheader Monday afternoon. After a run-scoring single, the Engineers scored on a bases-loaded walk and an error for a 3-0 lead in the opening inning. They tacked on one more run in the second before the Ephs opened their scoring in the third. Theresa Legan ’14 came through with two outs to drive in two runs with a double to right center. With the score 4-2, Legan came around to score on a throwing error, making the game 4-3.

RPI quickly broke the game open with a four-run frame in the bottom of the third, pounding Megan Casey ’13 for 10 runs, nine earned, on nine hits in 4.2 innings. Up 8-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth, RPI scored two more runs on four hits to finish the game with a 10-3 victory.

“Daub and Casey have been doing the bulk of our pitching and have been doing a good job,” Head Coach Kris Herman said. “I don’t think Casey had mechanical issues [against RPI]; we just need to make great pitches in key situations.”

The women also took a tough loss in the first game of the doubleheader, falling 8-2. The Ephs got on the scoreboard in the first with some small ball, scraping together two hits to take a 1-0 lead. The Engineers opened up the game in the fourth, however. Three singles, a walk and two errors in the fourth allowed RPI to score four runs and take a 4-1 lead. The women could not overcome the disadvantage as RPI tacked on one run in the sixth and three runs in the seventh to overpower Williams by a score of 8-2. Mary Beth Daub ’11 took the loss for the Ephs, pitching 4.1 innings and giving up eight runs, four earned, on 11 hits. The Eph struck out five batters and walked three.

Co-captain Caitlyn Cain ’11 started the women strong against Hamilton in the second inning of Saturday’s game. She punched a double to right center to plate two and put the Ephs up 2-0 early. With two on, Kaitlin Dinet ’13 also doubled to right, scoring two runs for the women to take a 4-0 lead out of the second. Hamilton got a run in the third with a sacrifice bunt. The Continentals then loaded the bases, but Daub was able to work her way out of the jam for a 4-1 lead. The women responded by taking two in the bottom of the third and held off a three-run seventh from Hamilton to take a 6-4 victory.

The late game of the doubleheader on Friday was shortened due to darkness, but the women prevailed 10-2 on the strength of a grand slam from Cedar Blazek ’13 in the first inning.

“Blazek’s a great hitter,” Herman said. “She hasn’t hit as consistently as she would have liked this season, but she’s a strong hitter and needs to keep taking her cuts and hitting with confidence.”

Casey kept the Continentals scoreless through four before giving up two runs in the fifth and final inning of play. The Ephs pounded eight hits, as Casey took the win and gave up only two earned runs on five hits in five innings.

Rookie Ally Ensor ’14 hammered home the victory for the Ephs in the series opener, slamming a three-run homer to break the scoreless tie in the third. Daub pitched seven shutout innings for the women, allowing just four hits and striking out five batters. Blazek punctuated the victory with a homer in the fifth to solidify the women’s 5-0 victory.

The women took a 2-0 lead over Keene State in the second game of their doubleheader on Thursday off an RBI single from Dinet. Despite loading the bases in the bottom of the fifth, the women could not push across another run. The Owls played small ball to score two runs and tie the game at 2-2. The game ended in a tie, with Casey going seven innings and allowing two earned runs on five hits.

The Ephs dropped the first game of the series 8-3 on Thursday. Alyssa Quann ’14 took the loss; she allowed eight runs, four earned, on 12 hits as she struck out three. Keene State scored three runs in both the fourth and the sixth to bury the women 8-3.

The women hosted Skidmore for a doubleheader yesterday afternoon, but results came in too late to report. They will next travel to Western New England for a doubleheader at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The women will finish the week at Amherst on Tuesday with a noon game and a 2:30 p.m. matchup.

“Whoever wins the series against Amherst gets into the playoffs,” Herman said. “We have to beat them in two of three, and ideally, we’ll take all three.”

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