Softball to host NCAA Regional at Cole Field

sball sballNo. 1 ranked Tufts edged out softball (30-7, 10-2 in the NESCAC) 1-0 in the 2015 NESCAC Tournament championship game last Sunday. The game concluded a hard-fought weekend in the tournament. Eph co-captain Emma Harrington ’15 (14-4) tossed a complete game, giving up seven hits over six innings, walking one and striking out two. Williams put runners on in each of the first three innings. In the first, co-captain Mo Frank ’15 grounded a one-out single up the middle but was stranded at first. In the second, Melissa Cendejas ’16 lined a one-out single to left but was stranded as well. In the third, Alison Michalik ’17 reached on an error following a bunt attempt. With two outs she stole second, but was left there as Tufts fanned the final hitter of the inning. “We showed that we can play with any team and look forward to a chance to play more ball over the next few weeks,” Head Coach Kris Herman said. On Saturday, Harrington became the all-time winningest pitcher in Williams history, hurling the Ephs into the 2015 NESCAC Tournament championship round via a 6-3 elimination-game win over Middlebury. The victory was the 50th of her career, breaking a tie with Katherine Baldwin ’03, who finished with 49.

The Ephs snapped the scoreless ballgame in the bottom of the fourth when with one out, Tayler Donze ’16 timed an off-speed pitch and launched a long drive to right, speeding into third with a triple. The Ephs’ 12-hit attack was led by Donze, who went three-for-four with two runs scored, and Lexi Curt ’18, who was two-for-four with two RBI and a run scored. Michalik was also two-for-four. Earlier in the day, the Ephs saw their 14-game win streak snapped by Tufts. Williams had three base runners in the game. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Frank ripped a hard groundball past the diving Tufts shortstop and into left field for the team’s first base hit. On Friday, Donze’s two-out RBI-single in the bottom of the 10th inning scored Kacey Cramer ’16 with the winning run and lifted the team to a 3-2 victory over Bowdoin on the first day of the 2015 NESCAC Tournament. The Ephs had no one on with two outs in the 10th when Cramer drew a walk. Curt’s bloop to center just beyond second was dropped for an error, and on a 1-1 pitch, Donze ripped a liner into right that rolled all the way to the fence, allowing Cramer to score the winning run. Harrington threw 5 2/3 innings of shutout relief, giving up on two hits in that stint, walking no one and striking out six to improve to 13-2 on the season. The Williams’ seventh began with Cendejas ripping a 3-2 pitch through the left side of the infield for a single. Lindsey Precht ’15 then laid down a perfect bunt on an 0-1 pitch. Brenna Martinez ’18 then hit a fly ball, far enough to advance Cendejas to third. Priscilla Pino ’16 then pinch-hit, hitting a grounder to short that advanced pinch-runner Ashley Wirth ’17 to second as Cendejas held her ground at third but both runners were stranded. Frank led off the bottom of the eighth by beating out a bunt. Cramer sacrificed her to second. After Curt was retired, Donze drilled a deep fly to left that landed for a game-winning double. Bowdoin led off the 10th inning with a double, breaking up a string of seven in a row retired by Harrington. After sacrificing the runner to third, Harrington got a runner-freezing grounder to third for the second out and fanned the next batter to escape the threat. Williams recieved a bid for the 2015 NCAA Tournament and will be hosting MCLA on Friday at 5 p.m.

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