Softball (20-16-1, 7-5 in the NESCAC West) split its doubleheader against MCLA in the final two games of the regular season. The women lost 3-1 in the first game but rallied to beat MCLA 11-2 in the second. They found success in their games against Amherst, claiming a 2-1 series victory on Friday and Saturday. On Wednesday, the women split their doubleheader against Western New England after sweeping another doubleheader against Skidmore on April 26.
The opening game on Monday remained scoreless until the fourth inning, when Merrilee Weston ’13 reached on a fielder’s choice, driving Ally Ensor ’14 home. MCLA responded quickly, tallying a run in the bottom of the fourth. The game was tied heading into the bottom of the seventh and final inning when MCLA catcher Kayla Koumjian hit a walk-off two-run homerun to take the 3-2 win.
The Ephs came into the second game prepared to avenge their loss in the early game. The first inning was scoreless, but Williams took the lead with a five-run second inning. Ensor led off the inning with a walk before Cedar Blazek ’13 then singled off a bunt. Ensor took second on a pitching error before an RBI single from Amanda Correnti ’13 brought the Eph home, putting the women up 1-0. Co-captain Carly Ameen ’11 followed with an RBI single to make the lead 2-0. With two outs, an error allowed Correnti to score, and Ali Graebner ’14 ended the inning with a two-run double to make the score 5-0 in the women’s favor.
MCLA registered two runs in the bottom of the third, but four more runs in the fourth solidified the women’s 9-2 lead. The Ephs scored two more insurance runs in the fifth to end the game with an 11-2 victory.
Williams headed into Tuesday’s games against MCLA after going 2-1 against Amherst in their series on Friday and Saturday. The Ephs lost 8-4 to the Jeffs on Friday but rallied to beat their rivals 5-4 and 10-0 in Saturday’s doubleheader. Saturday’s wins captured the Little Three title for Williams and earned the women a place in the NESCAC tournament.
“This was the one [series] that mattered the most,” Head Coach Kris Herman said. “We were tied [with Amherst] going in, so it was pretty high stakes. The Little Three title is a big deal, so the game was a big deal for us.”
Heading into the series against the Ephs, the Jeffs needed to win two games to advance to the NESCAC tournament. The Ephs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but the Jeffs tied the game up in the second. The game remained tied 3-3 until the top of the seventh when Amherst added a run to take a 4-3 lead. Williams regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh, however, when Kaitlin Dinet ’13 hit a two-RBI double to drive co-captain Caitlyn Cain ’11 and Ameen home for the 5-4 win.
Williams’ victory in the first game meant that the winner of the second game of the doubleheader would not only win the Little Three but also secure a spot in the NESCAC tournament. In the late game, Cain went three for three at the plate and led off with a single up the center. A series of defensive miscues from the Jeffs, including a hit batter, allowed runners to reach first and second with one out for the Ephs. Blazek singled up the left side to load the bases. Graebner was then hit by a pitch, pushing a run in and keeping the bases loaded. Correnti hit a two-run RBI single up the middle to make the score 3-0. A single from Weston finished the inning up 4-0.
Six more runs in the bottom of the third sealed the victory for the Ephs. Williams went on to win 10-0 in five innings to advance to NESCACs.
The women lost the first game on Friday after Amherst notched a six-run third off starter Megan Casey ’13. Five walks gave Casey an early exit, but the Ephs were unable to muster a comeback, falling 8-4. “We did not play very well on Friday,” Herman said. “We just didn’t get the job done, and we were a little bit out of sorts.”
Williams split with Western New England on Wednesday. The women lost the first game 4-2, but six RBIs from Blazek helped the team garner a 12-5 win in the nightcap.
The Ephs went down 1-0 to the Golden Bears early in the opening game, but a home run from Ensor tied the game in the second inning. Western New England regained the lead in the third and was up 3-1 until Ensor combined with Blazek to score another run. The women’s two runs were not sufficient to earn the win, however, and Williams lost the game 4-2.
The women fell behind 3-0 early in the second game, but a seven-run second inning gave them a 7-3 lead. Weston and Cain both hit singles to send Blair Curzi ’14 home for the women’s first run. Theresa Legan ’14 hit a single to load the bases, and Dinet followed with another RBI single to make the score 2-0. Soon after, Blazek hit a double to centerfield, driving three runners home for a 6-3 total. After stealing third, Blazek reached home on a throwing error for a 7-3 tally. Williams totaled five more runs in the third inning for a 12-3 score, amassing a lead that couldn’t be threatened by Western New England’s two fifth-inning runs.
Williams also swept Skidmore 4-0 and 7-4 on April 26. Pitchers Casey and Mary Beth Daub ’11 each earned wins in the games.
Williams will play at Tufts on Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the first round of the NESCAC tournament.
“Williams softball can certainly win the NESCAC championship,” Herman said. “That’s well within our reach. We know how good we are compared to other teams, and I like our chances if we keep playing Williams softball.”