Three outs from a sweep Saturday, softball (22-7, 5-1 in the NESCAC West) was forced to settle for a split as Hamilton scored five times in the bottom of the sixth inning of the nightcap to post a 7-3 victory. The two games last Saturday followed a Williams victory in the first game of the series, 3-1, as the women stymied their opponents with a strong pitching performance.
The Ephs had scored 10 runs in the final three innings of the opener to post a 13-6 victory. Hamilton scored five times in the bottom of the first to take a 5-1 lead and still led 6-3 entering the top of the fifth. However, the Ephs scored four times in the fifth and six times in the seventh to pull away. Alison Michalik ’17 led off the fifth frame with a single, and Priscilla Pino ’16 was hit by a pitch.
With one out, the runners moved up on a pitch in the dirt, and Melissa Cendejas ’16 came through with a two-run double to make it 6-5 in favor of Hamilton. After a second out, Mackenzie Murphy ’19 singled home Cendejas to tie the game. Amanda Siedem ’16 then drew a walk and Tayler Donze ’16 was hit by a pitch to load the base. Co-captain Erica Li ’16 came through with a single that scored Murphy with the go-ahead run.
The Ephs put the game away with a six-run top of the seventh. Murphy got things started with a lead-off double and Siedem singled her home. After an out, Li beat out a bunt for a single, setting the table for pinch-hitter Ashley Wirth ’17. The batter came through with a single between third and short that scored Siedem for a 9-6 lead.
Casey Pelz ’19 then pinch hit for co-captain Kacey Cramer ’16 and ripped a two-run double down the left-field line. With the bases loaded and two outs, Murphy ripped a two-run single to right that accounted for the final score.
The women had 17 hits in the win. Murphy was 3 for 4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Siedem was 3 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Li was 3 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Murphy picked up the win with four innings of shutout relief, allowing just two hits while walking none and striking out two. She improved to 9-2 on the season. The Ephs fell in an early 2-0 hole in the nightcap, but scored single runs in the second, third and fifth to lead 3-2 entering the bottom of the six before the Continentals exploded for five runs to take the contest.
In the second, Siedem singled to right center to score Pino, who led off with a single. In the third, Donze doubled and was singled home by Pino. In the fifth, Donze walked, advanced to second and scored when Cendejas ripped a two-out, RBI-single down the right-field line.
Alejandra Magana ’19 went the distance, allowing six hits and seven runs with only five earned. She walked two and did not strike out a batter.
“We did not play to our potential this weekend,” Head Coach Kris Herman said. “Although there were some great moments and performances, overall we fell short in terms of executing the little things, specifically in the bunting game, and that hurt us on the scoreboard.
“We were able to come back strongly, taking advantage of some mistakes on the other side, in game two and that was great to see. we weren’t able to take advantage of the momentum going into game three.”
In the first game of the series Murphy set the tone from start to finish with a dominant pitching performance, carrying the women to victory. Murphy allowed only one hit in the dominant outing, flirting with a no-hitter for part of the contest. She was supported by seven hits from the Eph lineup, which pieced together of-fensive production and push across three runs.
“This weekend we didn’t get the result we wanted. which was a sweep, but we made it out of the weekend winning the series. Despite not getting the result, I think this was a crucial weekend for the team,” co-captain Erica Li said. “In the second game of the series, our team battled back after going down four runs in the first inning, and this is a characteristic that will help this team go far this year. We would have loved to get a sweep this past weekend, but this team has an incredible ability to bounce back and we are already looking forward to our Amherst series this weekend.”
Williams is set to host cross-town rival MCLA today beginning at 3:30 p.m.