Softball extends eight-game winning streak, beats Middlebury 3-2

Tayler Donze ’16 had two hits and an RBI and Brooke Bovier ’17 threw a complete-game three-hitter Sunday as the Williams College softball team (23-5, 7-2 in the NESCAC WEST) edged Middlebury, 3-2, for its eighth straight victory. Sunday’s win gave Williams a sweep of the three-game series with the Panthers. The Ephs took both ends of a doubleheader back on April 4. In the opening frame for Williams, Alison Michalik ’17 singled to start the game. After stealing second, Michalik raced home on a bloop single to right by Donze for a 1-0 lead. The Ephs had a chance in the second to expand their lead when Lindsey Precht ’15 smashed a one-out double down the left field line, but Panther hurler Neve Stearns got consecutive fly-outs to end the threat. Middlebury got its first baserunner on in the second inning when Erin Giles drew an opening walk.

Giles was later forced out at second on a nice 1-6 fielder’s choice started by Bovier with one out. Bovier induced an infield pop-out to end the second. Williams started a two-out rally in the third, as Donze got her second single to right, later reaching second on a walk by Lexi Curt ’18. Melissa Cendejas ’16 followed with a shot to the left side hole, but Middlebury’s shortstop Hye-Jin Kim knocked it down and tossed to second for the inning-ending force-out. With one-out in the fourth, Carlyn Vachow got the Panthers’ first hit off Bovier beating out a close play at first. Middlebury could not capitalize, hitting into a classic 6-4-3 double-play to end the inning.

The Ephs earned some breathing room in the sixth, scoring a pair of runs. Erica Li ’16 was hit by Stearns to start the inning, as Michalik reached on a check-swing ball that Stearns misplayed. On the Michalik play, Li was awarded third base and Michalik second on Stearns’ throwing error. That was all for Stearns, as Allison Quigley came in relief with no outs. Quigley tossed a wild pitch to co-captain Mo Frank ’15, allowing Li to score and Michalik to reach third. Later in the at-bat, Frank roped an RBI single to left center, scoring Michalik for a 3-0 Williams advantage. The Panthers rallied in the bottom of the sixth, closing the gap to 3-2. Williams went down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh, bringing the Panthers to bat with a chance to tie it in the final frame. After a tough sixth inning in the circle, Bovier sent Middlebury down in order, collecting her 12th win of the season. Donze paced Williams with two singles and an RBI, as Michalik had a hit and scored twice.

Frank went 1-4 with an RBI, while Precht had the other hit for the Ephs, a double in the second inning. Bovier (12-3) went the distance, allowing just three hits and two earned runs over seven innings. Maehr’s two-run double highlighted the Panther batting, as Bicks and Vachow each collected singles. Stearns (5-3) went 4.0 innings, allowed three runs (two earned) with a pair of K’s, as Quigley tossed the final three innings, allowing one hit and no runs. Additionally, the women’s offense was on a collective roll Saturday as the Ephs scored 19 runs on 30 hits over the 12 innings of a 9-0, 10-2 sweep of Wesleyan. In the opener Saturday, Curt went 3-3 with a double, home run and three RBIs to pace the Ephs’ 12-hit attack. Cendejas was 2-3 with a double and two RBIs and Michalik was 2-4 with an RBI. Co-captain Emma Harrington ’15 and Emalie Rott ’15 combined for the shutout, allowing four hits over five innings of work. Williams took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Michalik reached on an error leading off and scored on Cendejas’s bases-loaded single to right. The Ephs added five runs in the third. Frank walked to ignite the uprising and Kacey Cramer ’16 was hit by a pitch. Curt then lined a double to right, scoring Frank and moving Cramer to third. Cendejas then doubled, scoring Cramer. After an out, Precht doubled home another run and Brenna Martinez ’18 followed that with an RBI-single for a 6-0 lead., ultimately winning 9-0. The women banged out 18 hits in the 10-2 second-game victory after a 7-0 win on Friday. The women beat Western Connecticut 8-0 and 5-4 last Wednesday and swept RPI on April 14. The women host Skidmore today at 4 p.m. The women then host Hamilton with games at 5 p.m. on Friday, and noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday. The team is excited by its results. “We had a great bounce back week after the tough 24 hours versus Amherst,” Head Coach Kris Herman said. “We had something to prove to ourselves as well as improvements to be made to our record as we head into the post-season.”