Williams Takes Doubleheader from Softball, 2-1 & 3-1|
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - Sophomore Williams College pitchers Katherine Baldwin (Yantic, CT) and Kaitlyn DeLuca (Milford, MA) combined to allow only 11 Amherst College hits and no earned runs in two games, as the Ephs swept a NESCAC softball doubleheader from the Jeffs, taking the opener by a 2-1 count before a 3-1 victory in the nightcap.
|First-year Gina Scribner|
scored in the top of the seventh
inning of the opener to cut
the Williams lead to one, but
the Amherst rally would fall short
Game one turned into a fantastic pitching duel between Baldwin and junior Amherst starter Lauren Peloquin (Berkley, MA), with the two pitchers combining for seven strikeouts and only two hits allowed in the first three innings. After the Jeffs went quietly in the fourth, Williams rallied for their only two runs in the bottom of the inning, beginning with a one-out triple from junior Melissa Hartley (La Costa, CA). One batter later, Baldwin helped her cause with a triple of her own to plate Hartley, before scoring on a dropped Karen McCloskey (Verona, NJ) pop-up that would have been the third out of the inning.
The Jeffs went 1-2-3 in the fifth, and Shari Sakamoto (Pasadena, CA), who singled to lead off the visitors' sixth, was stranded on first, sending the game to the seventh with a 2-0 Williams lead. There, the Jeffs took advantage of a three-base error on Williams rightfielder Caitlin Carr (Toledo, OH) to score their lone run of the game, but that would be all the offense the visitors could muster, with Baldwin inducing an infield pop-up from pinch hitter Jenna Obelsky (Stoughton, MA) with two outs and a runner on to seal the 2-1 win.
Peloquin, who struck out eight and allowed only one earned run, took the loss to fall to 14-2, while Baldwin, who scattered four Amherst hits over seven innings while also striking out eight, finished 2-3 with a run scored and an RBI en route to her 13th win of the season.
In the nightcap, Williams received another stellar pitching performane from DeLuca, who weathered a first-inning Amherst rally before settling down and cruising the rest of the way. The Jeffs plated their only run of the nightcap in the opening inning, after Carline Kelly (S. Dartmouth, MA), who walked to leadoff the game, scored on a fielding error by Williams first baseman Karen McCloskey (Verona, NJ). With runners on the corners and one out, however, the Jeffs could not get another run home, with Sakamoto popping up to McCloskey and Peloquin grounding to third to end the inning.
The Ephs could manage nothing against sophomore Amherst hurler Emily Melia (Hingham, MA) through two innings, before first-year Carlyle Massey (Hyannis, MA) reached on a bunt single to open the third, stole second, moved to third on a ground out from junior Gisele Pinck (Luzerne, Switzerland), and scored on another ground-out from senior Jennifer Garabedian (Rutherford, NJ).
After the small ball to tie the game in the third, Williams took the lead for good in the fourth inning, stringing together three-straight singles after sophomore Kristen Massimiano (Pittsfield, MA) reached on an error with one out. A DeLuca single moved Massimiano to third, a Carr single scored the sophomore, and a single from sophomore Courtney Hunter (Ridgefield, CT) plated DeLuca for a 3-1 Williams advantage.
The two-run cushion would be all that DeLuca would need, as the sophomore survived rally-attempts from Amherst in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, including a deep fly ball to center from first-year first baseman Gina Scribner (Star, ID) with two on and two outs in the seventh that would have tied the game had it dropped. It didn't, and DeLuca had her eighth victory of the year, a nifty seven-hitter to complete the doubleheader sweep.
With the two losses, Amherst (19-9) falls to 6-2 in the NESCAC West Division, second to first-place Williams. The Jeffs still qualify for next week's inaugural NESCAC tournament as the second-place team in the West, and they will travel to either Bowdoin College or Tufts University on Friday to face the East Division champion in the opening round. First, however, the Jeffs finish their regular season on Wednesday, when they host Springfield College in a non-league contest, the final home game for Kelly, co-captain Meg Nelson (Middletown, CT) and Sakamoto.
Williams (21-8) improves to 6-0 in divisional play, locking up the first-seed in the West in next week's four-team double-elimination draw. The Ephs have a pair of doubleheaders before the tournament begins, however, hosting the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on Monday, before heading to Middlebury College for a twin-bill on Thursday.
Game One Box Score and Play-by-Play
Game Two Box Score and Play-by-Play