WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — Brenna Martinez, Mackenzie Murphy and Rebecca Duncan al homered Friday to lead the Williams College softball team to a 6-2 win over Babson College in the opener of a best-of-three NCAA Div. III Tournament Super Regional at Cole Field.
The Ephs won their 11th straight game to improve to 35-10 while the Beavers dropped to 32-15 on the season. The two teams will meet again Saturday at 1 p.m. in the second game of the Super Regional with a third game scheduled for 3:30 p.m. if necessary.
In addition to her homer, Duncan also hurled a complete-game five-hitter, battling the strike zone all day and finishing with four walks and four strikeouts over seven innings. Babson stranded 12 baserunners in the loss.
Williams had seven hits in the victory. Martinez was 2 for 3 with three RBI, a double and the home run. Duncan was also 2 for 3 and Murphy went 1 for 3 with a two-run home run. Margo Beck and Kirstin Mapes had the Ephs' other hits.
Samantha Smith and Ashley Tango were each 2 for 4 for Babson. Smith had an RBI-single in a two-run top of the seventh inning.
The Ephs got on the board quickly as jessica Kim drew a lead-off walk from Babson starter Brooke Stock and stole second. After a fly out, Murphy drove a ball to straightaway center field that cleared the fence for her ninth home run of the season and a 2-0 lead.
Duncan followed with a single down the third base side. Brenna Martinez was next at bat and drilled a double to the gap in left center field, allowing Duncan to score and making the score 3-0. The Beavers nearly answered in their half of the second, loading the bases on a double and a pair of walks. With the bases loaded and a full count, Babson's Kayla Schnik hit a soft liner right at the Ephs' Martinez to end the threat.
The Ephs continued this momentum in to the bottom of the third where Rebecca Duncan collected her 8th homerun of the year. With a full count and 2 outs, she blasted a home run to center field to give the Ephs a 4-0 lead.
Williams did not settle with its lead and collected two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Ashley Wirth pinch ran for junior Margo Beck, who had been walked. With Wirth on first, Martinez hit a two-run homerun to lift the Ephs to a 6-0 lead.
Babson spoiled Duncan's shutout bid in the seventh as three consecutive Eph errors allowed Josephine Mares to score. A walk and Tango single loaded the bases. After a force out at the plate, Smith grouned a single to lef to make it 6-2 and bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Annie Mitchell, but Duncan fanned Mitchell on a called strike three to end the game.