Ephs sweep Continentals, extend win streak to 13

On Monday, softball (28-5, 10-2 in the NESCAC) swept MCLA after sweeping NESCAC West Division foe Hamilton over the weekend. On Saturday, co-captain Emma Harrington ’15 hurled three-and-2/3 innings of shutout relief and a two-run single in the bottom of the fourth courtesy of Alison Michalik ’17 gave the women a 3-2 win, which combined with the 7-3 victory earlier that day and the 8-5 victory on Friday, extended the Ephs win streak to 11. On Monday, the women made quick work of MCLA, defeating the out-of-conference opponent by scores of 8-3 and 5-0. Notably, Tayler Donze ’16 had three runs, while Lexi Curt ’18 and Lindsey Precht ’15 had three hits off four at bats in the 8-3 win. In the first game on Saturday, Kacey Cramer ’16 and Curt hit home runs to spark the Ephs’ offensive output. Brooke Bovier ’17 pitched a complete game to improve to 14-3 on the season. The Ephs built a 4-0 lead with single runs in the first and second and two more in the third. Donze had an RBI single in the first and Kacey Cramer ’16 launched her two-run home run to left-center in the third.

Hamilton got back into it in the top of the fourth when Daphne Assimakopoulos hit a solo homer to left and, following an Ellie Kiernan hit, Singer launched a two-run home run two center that made it 4-3. The Ephs picked up a key insurance run in the fifth when Curt blasted her team-leading sixth home run of the season, a solo hit that made it 5-3. In the Williams sixth, Michalik and co-captain Mo Frank ’15 had RBI-singles to put the game out of reach. Donze and Erica Li ’16 were two-for-three for Williams, while Michalik was two-for-four. Bovier allowed five hits and two walks while striking out seven in her complete-game effort. Assimakopoulos was two-for-three for Hamilton. Singer took the loss, giving up 11 hits while walking one and striking out one. Hamilton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first of the nightcap, getting three consecutive two-out singles from Olivia Gozdz, Assimakopoulos and Zoe Singer.

The women tied the game in their half of the first when Donze lined a two-out single to left that scored co-captain Mo Frank ’15 who had singled. The Continentals regained the lead off Eph starter Emalie Rott ’15 in the top of the third when Hannah Staab led off with a double and scored on Assimakopoulos’s two-out single to center. Williams answered in the bottom of the fourth when Precht worked a walk off of Hamilton starter Kelsey Leonard. Ashley Wirth ’17 pinch-ran for Precht and stole second. She moved to third on a two-out infield single by Li. Li subsequently stole second. Both runners scored when Michalik grounded a hard single into right field with Li sliding in just ahead of the throw. Harrington preserved the Ephs’ lead, despite allowing leadoff doubles to Continentals in the sixth and seventh frames. In the top of the sixth, Leonard led off with a two-bagger, but Harrington struck out the next batter. After a single put runners on the corners, Harrington handled a comebacker cleanly and held the runner at third, then retired Kiernan on a liner to third. In the top of the seventh, Gozdz led off with a double, but Harrington induced a groundout to third, a fly to left and a game-ending grounder to short. The game finished with Williams victorious by a 3-2 margin. Harrington allowed three hits over three-and-2/3 innings, walked two and struck out three while improving to 11-2 on the season. On Friday afternoon, the women defeated Hamilton 8-5. Williams took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning after Li singled to drive home Donze, but Hamilton responded in the top of the third to take a 3-1 advantage. In the bottom of the third, the first three Eph batters all got on base, and Melissa Cendejas ’16 singled to drive home a run.

Precht was then walked, which allowed Curt to score, tying the game at 3-3. The contest continued scoreless until the bottom of the sixth, when the Ephs offense exploded with five runs. Michalik scored off a Cramer single, and on the subsequent at-bat, Curt hit a three-run home run. A few batters later, Precht hit a solo shot to make the score 8-3. Hamilton scored twice in the top of the seventh, but it was not enough to mount a comeback, and the women walked away with an 8-5 victory. Williams will next play Bowdoin on Friday on the opening day of the NESCAC tournament hosted by Tufts. “We are excited to finish the regular season with a great win streak. Our entire team has been playing well and we’ve been led by pitching, hitting, defense and baserunning and various times,” Head Coach Kris Herman said.”We look forward to a strong weekend at NESCACs and to see how we match up against some great teams.”