Ephs stumble 2-1 against Cardinals

Softball (7-14, 1-2 in the NESCAC) headed into its first NESCAC series last weekend after a long spring training trip. The women dropped their first two games against Wesleyan 2-1 on Friday and 4-3 on Saturday before claiming the rubber match on Saturday 7-6. Over the break, the Ephs compiled a 6-12 record.

Last weekend, the women added two losses and a win to their season in their series against Wesleyan. Williams lost the first two games but came back strong to win the final game. In the first game of the series, Emma Harrington ’15 kept the Cardinals from scoring until the top of the third, but the Ephs answered in the bottom of the fourth when Ally Ensor ’14 stole third and scored an unearned run. However, in the fifth Wesleyan scored again, earning a 2-1 win. Harrington ended the game with 12 strikeouts.

Wesleyan took the first lead in the second game as well, earning three runs in the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth, tri-captain Ali Graebner ’14 hit a single to bat in Erica Li ’16 and put Williams on the scoreboard 3-1. The Ephs tallied another two runs in the top of the seventh when Lindsey Precht ’15 hit a two-run homer to left, tying the score at 3-3. However, the comeback came too late, and Williams ended the game just short of Wesleyan, with a final score of 4-3.

The tables turned for the last game when Williams got off to an early lead. In the top of the first, Graebner singled and advanced to second on the throw, eventually scoring. Meanwhile Li advanced to third and scored on a muffed throw. Theresa Legan ’14 also scored, giving the Ephs a 3-0 lead. Williams kept the runs coming in the top of the second with a single to right from Tayler Donze ’16, that allowed Melissa Cendejas ’16 to score. Legan than singled to plate Donze. Ensor singled and scored Legan, giving the Ephs a 6-0 advantage. The Cardinals started to come back in the bottom of the second, scoring two runs, and added four more in the bottom of the fifth. Williams answered in the top of the sixth with Priscilla Pino ’16 scoring off a Li single, giving the Ephs the 7-6 win.

“It was an important series, and we are not happy to have been on the losing end in the big picture, but we did a lot of good things,” said Head Coach Kris Herman.  “All four pitchers pitched well over the weekend and we had a few great individual performances.”

In their home opener on March 29, the women annihilated Southern Vermont 16-0 and 15-1, with both games ending after only five innings due to the mercy rule. In the first matchup, Ensor went 4-4, with four RBI and three runs. Kaitlin Dinet ’13 also went 4-4, with three RBIs in the game. In the second contest, Kacey Cramer ’16 had five RBI and scored two runs. From the mound, Emalie Rott ’15 allowed only two hits.

On March 27, Williams took on a tough Concordia team in California, losing its games 10-0 and 7-0. Before that series, the women lost six straight. They suffered 3-2 and 3-1 losses to Whittier on March 26, 6-2 and 7-3 losses to Redlands on March 25 and 9-6 and 11-10 losses to Hamline on March 24.

In the first week of spring break, Williams had mixed results. The women swept La Sierra, 5-1 and 11-9 on March 22, with Cendejas, Pino and Donze each batting in a run and each scoring one run. Ensor scored three runs for the Ephs in the second game. The women split their series with Pomona-Pitzer on March 21. They won the first game 8-4 before dropping the second 3-2 when Pomona-Pitzer scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Williams also split its series against Chapman on March 19, winning 2-0 and losing 3-1. In the victory, Harrington had seven strikeouts and allowed only three hits.

This week, the women will play against Keene State today at 3:30 p.m. and again at 5:30 p.m. This weekend, the women have a conference series against Amherst. The Ephs play at the Jeffs on Friday at 5 p.m. and host them for a doubleheader at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. On Tuesday, the women will play away at RPI at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.