Softball falls out of playoffs after 2-1 NESCAC series

Softball (16-21, 7-5 in the NESCAC) took on Skidmore, Hamilton and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) last week, adding four wins and three losses to the team’s overall record. The women were shut out 3-0 in their first game against MCLA on Monday, but came back strong to win the second 9-1. Against the Continentals, the Ephs went 2-1 on the weekend, winning 3-0 and 5-2 before dropping the final game 4-1. On April 23, Williams lost its first game of a doubleheader against Skidmore 4-3, but won the second 7-1.

In the first matchup on Monday, MCLA came out strong, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. MCLA added another run in the bottom of third to make the score 3-0. The Ephs were in a promising position in the top of the sixth, when tri-captain Ali Graebner ’14 and Priscilla Pino ’16 both singled. Mo Frank ’15 grounded out to first, but advanced both runners. However, the Ephs did not bring them home, and ultimately lost 3-0. From the mound, tri-captain Megan Casey ’13 faced 25 batters and recorded eight strikeouts.

The second game against MCLA on Monday afternoon went according to plan for Williams. The women broke through in the third inning, notching four runs. Merrilee Weston ’13 reached first on an MCLA error and advanced to second after a single by Emalie Rott ’15. Theresa Legan ’14 singled, driving home Weston and advancing Rott to third. Rott scored on a groundball from the bat of Erica Li ’16 to give the Ephs a 2-0 advantage. Kacey Cramer ’16 singled to center, driving in Legan and ultimately advancing to third after a fielding error. Cramer scored off a wild pitch for a 4-0 lead. Rott scored again in the top of the fourth, bringing the Ephs’ lead to 5-0. In the fifth, Graebner doubled, advanced to third on an error and scored on a second error. The women scored three in the sixth to take a 9-0 lead. MCLA scored once in the bottom of the sixth to make the final score 9-1. Rott faced 17 batters over four innings, and Emma Harrington ’15 had three strikeouts against seven batters, earning her the save.

In their first game against Hamilton on Friday, the women came out strong. Li had a big game for Williams, scoring the team’s first run off a Cramer triple. Li and Graebner then scored off a single by Frank, giving the Ephs a total of three runs for a 3-0 win. Harrington had another big game from the mound, facing 28 batters and tallying seven strikeouts.

In Saturday’s opening game against Hamilton, Harrington controlled play. Facing a total of 34 batters, she ended the game with six strikeouts. In the bottom of the fourth, Dinet singled to left field, eventually advancing to third on smart baserunning and plating Graebner and Cramer. After Hamilton scored in the top of the fifth, Williams came back in the bottom of the sixth. Pino singled to right to bat in Melissa Cendejas ’16 and Kaitlin Dinet ’13. Williams came out on top once again 5-2.

“In game one on Saturday, Dinet and Pino were the heroes on offense, both coming up with clutch hits,” Head Coach Kris Herman said.

In the rubber match on Saturday night, Hamilton scored first, coming up with a run in the top of the second. Graebner singled to left in the bottom of the third, driving Li home for the Ephs’ first run of the game. Hamilton then scored a run in each of the next three innings, giving them the lead and eventually the 4-1 win. Dinet faced 15 batters and came off with two strikeouts. Casey faced nine batters and recorded two strikeouts. Harrington faced seven batters and finished with two strikeouts.

“With winning all three games [against Hamilton] being the goal, we are disappointed in the result,” Herman said. “Our offense struggled overall, especially getting the timely hits we needed.”

On April 23, Williams faced Skidmore. In the second game, Skidmore scored a run early on in the top of the first, but Rott kept them at bay from the mound for the rest of the game. The women ultimately took the game 7-1.

The women started strong in their first game against Skidmore, but gave up the lead in the final inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Frank batted in Graebner, and the women added a second run in the bottom of the fifth. In the sixth inning, Weston singled up the middle, batting in Frank to make the score 3-0. In the top of the seventh, Skidmore came back with four runs to take the lead from Williams 4-3. The Ephs did not retaliate in the bottom of the inning, and the Thoroughbreds won 4-3. Dinet faced 25 batters and had seven strikeouts.

The women’s loss to Hamilton took the women out of the NESCAC playoffs, despite finishing in a tie for second in the NESCAC West. Wesleyan, who had the head-to-head advantage against the women, qualified instead.

The women will graduate four seniors: Amanda Correnti ’13, Casey, Dinet and Weston.

Additional reporting by Jace Forbes-Cockell, sports editor.