Lexi Curt ’18 breaks home run record as softball takes 15th straight

Lexi Curt ’18 set the Ephs’ all-time home-run record, and softball (20–9, 5–0 in the NESCAC West) went 8-0 against RPI, MCLA, Tufts and Smith. The women have now won 15 straight games, outscoring opponents 128-40 over that span.

On Cole Field, the Ephs swept a doubleheader yesterday over the Smith Pioneers.

In the first game, Smith got on the board in the top of the first on a two-run home run.

Starting pitcher Emma Corbett ’20 helped her own cause with an RBI single in the second to cut the Pioneer lead to 2-1. The Ephs tagged on five runs in the third, and a two-run homer from Casey Pelz ’19 in the sixth made the score 8-2, where it stood for the rest of the game.

Corbett recorded her third win of the year, giving up two runs in four innings pitched.

A seven-run third in the nightcap led the women to another comfortable victory. Mackenzie Murphy ’19 earned the win in relief, moving to 7-4 on the year. An RBI single by Ashley Conroy ’20 ended the game by the eight-run mercy rule after six innings, with a final score of 9-1.

Last year, the Ephs defeated the Tufts Jumbos in the NESCAC tournament to win their first-ever championship. Tufts had won the title the previous four years.

On Monday, the teams met for the first time this season in a doubleheader on Cole Field.

The opener was a tightly contested pitcher’s duel between Rebecca Duncan ’20 and Tufts’ Raina Galbiati. The Ephs opened the scoring in the bottom of the third. On a double steal, Jessica Kim ’19 took second, and Pelz came home when the catcher’s throw to second bounced into the outfield. Margo Beck ’18 made it 2-0 with a solo shot to left-center in the fourth, but Tufts’ Cassie Rucsz tied the game at two when she launched a two-run home run in the top of the fifth. 

However, in the bottom of the fifth, it was Kim who broke the tie with a laser shot over the fence in left center field for 3-2 lead. Duncan earned a complete-game win, improving to 9-3. She gave up five hits and walked two while striking out a career-high 11 batters. 

The women grabbed an early lead in the nightcap, when Kim led off the bottom of the first with a home run to left. The Ephs added five in the second and three in the bottom of the fourth to take a 9-0 lead. 

Starter Brooke Bovier ’17 went the distance, and the game ended after five by mercy rule. In the doubleheader, Kim went 4-for-6, hitting two homers, scoring four runs and batting in three.

The women posted 9-0 and 9-2 wins over MCLA on Saturday in North Adams, Mass.  All nine starters had at least one hit. 

In the opener, Williams took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second and never looked back. The Ephs added two in the third and one in the fourth before breaking open the contest with a five-run fifth.

Bovier came within an out of a five-inning no-hitter but gave up back-to-back singles with two outs in the fifth. Bovier earned the victory, allowing the two hits and two walks while fanning three. 

In the nightcap, the Ephs put together a four-run second and scored three in the fifth and two in the seventh to pull away. 

Murphy earned the win, allowing just one hit over the final 3 2/3 innings. She did not issue a walk and fanned five.

Last Thursday, the women swept a doubleheader at RPI. 

Riley Salvo ’20 got the scoring started in the top of the first, singling home Kim for a 1-0 lead. RPI knotted the score in the bottom of the second, but the Ephs took the lead for good in the top of the third, as Kim homered for a 2-1 advantage. 

Two runs in the fourth made it 4-1 Ephs, but the Engineers mounted a rally in the bottom of the sixth, cutting the lead to 4-3. Duncan, however, preserved the victory on the mound. She finished with seven strikeouts and one walk over seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits. 

In the nightcap, the Ephs jumped out to an early lead, scoring eight runs in the second. Pelz and Ashley Wirth ’17 had RBI singles to start the uprising. Curt then highlighted the outburst with a grand slam to left. Three batters later, Duncan crushed a two-run homer to make it 8-0. 

The grand slam was Curt’s 20th home run as an Eph and broke a tie with Katelyn Knox ’07 for the all-time school record. 

The women continued to hit, and the final scoreline stood at 14-2. Murphy earned the complete game win, allowing two runs on six hits over five innings. 

Brenna Martinez ’18 was 6-for-6 over the two games, with two doubles, three runs and two RBI. Kim finished 6-for-8 with a homer, four runs and an RBI. 

Head Coach Kris Herman said the Tufts wins were heartening. “We work to play our best game every time out, regardless of the opponent,” she said, “but Tufts has a great history of success and has been a worthy rival in recent years, so it’s great to play well and beat them.”

She added that the team has improved significantly over the course of the season.

“Our defense is better, our pitching keeps improving and we are getting timely hitting,” she said. “Those are three keys to success for any team. This weekend’s test versus Amherst for the NESCAC West lead will be fun.”

The Ephs will face the Amherst Mammoths in Amherst, Mass., on Friday at 5 p.m., and the teams will play again in a doubleheader on Cole Field the following day, with the first game beginning at noon.

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