Duncan powers Ephs to sweep of Occidental, 9-6 and 3-0

Photo courtesy of Tracy Olsen/Cal Lutheran
Photo courtesy of Tracy Olsen/Cal Lutheran

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Wiliams College softball team had its most complete day of its West Coast trip to date Sunday, getting good hitting, good defense and strong pitching in a 9-6, 3-0 sweep of Occidental College. 

With the sweep the Ephs improved to 7-5 overall. They will play a doubleheader at Vanguard University Monday beginning at 2 p.m. PST. 

In the nightcap Sunday, first year Rebecca Duncan limited the Tigers to just one hit over the first six innings before settling for a three-hit shutout in the 3-0 win. Her teammates gave her two early runs to work with, scoring twice in the first. 

Kristina Alvarado led off the game by walking on a 3-2 pitch. She stole second and scored on a bang-bang play at the plate following a hard single to right by Lexi Curt. Curt took second on the play. 

With two out and the bases loaded, senior Ashley Wirth came through in the clutch, drilling a single to left that scored one run. However, an Eph was cut down at the plate to end the frame. 

Duncan helped her own cause in the top of the second, launching her first collegiate hit, a solo home run that made it 3-0. From the circle, she allowed a single and a walk in the bottom of the first but got a grounder to get out of it, which started a string of nine straight outs before an error put a runner on first. 

She then retired six more in a row before allowing two singles around an out to start the bottom of the seventh. However she was able to get a strike out and a fielder's choice to end the contest. Over seven frames, Duncan allowed three hits and two walks while striking out six. 

Jess Kim led the Ephs offensive attack with a 2 for 4 game. 

In the opener the Ephs battled back from early 2-0 and 3-2 deficits. Trailing 3-2 in the top of the fourth, sophomore Casey Pelz smacked a two-rum homer run, her second of the season, to give the Ephs the lead. The Ephs took a 5-4 lead in the fifth when Pelz had an RBI-single, then snapped a 5-5 tie in the top of the sixth with three runs. 

Brenna Martinez and Wirth started the inning with singles before Ali Michalik dropped adown a sacrifice bunt to move them to second and third. Alvarado had an infield single that scored Martinez for a 6-5 lead and, with two outs, Mackenzie Murphy knocked a two-run single to left for an 8-5 lead. 

The Ephs led 9-5 entering the bottom of the seventh, but first Emma Corbett — on in relief of Murphy — allowed a double, a single and a walk to load the bases with no outs. On came Duncan, but she hit the first batter she faced to force a run home and make it 9-6. 

Duncan then settled down to strike out the next three batters with the tying run on first base to help Williams secure the win. She collected the save, her first. 

Williams had 14 hits, led by Pelz who finished 3 for 4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Martinez and Wirth were each 2 for 3 and Murphy was 2 for 4. 

2017 Season Outlook
March 10, 2017 2017 Season Outlook