CLERMONT, Fla. -- It was a tale of two games, but, in different ways, the Williams College softball team used powerful performances to gain two more victories Monday, hitting six home runs in a 17-11 win over Hendrix in the morning and then watching sophomore Rebecca Duncan hurl a one-hit shutout on a 1-0 win over Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the afternoon.
Williams is now 4-0. The Ephs are off Tuesday before playing the University of Chicago at 9 a.m. Wednesday and Western New England University at 11;30 a.m.
The Ephs finished with 19 hits against three pitchers from Hendrix, out of Conway, Arkansas. Casey Pelz went 3 for 5 with two home runs, a double and 5 RBI. Jessica Kim was 3 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Lexi Curt and Mackenzie Murphy each went 3 for 5 with two home runs each, going back to back in two different innings. First years Jenny Hickey and Cristine McElhinney both collected their first collegiate hit in the win, with Hickey going 2 for 2 with two RBI.
Williams led 12-0 after the top of fourth, scoring seven in the second, three in the third and two in the fourth. The Ephs second began with Margo Beck drawing a walk. Riley Salvo shot a single between first and second and Brenna Martinez ignited the fire with a rocket liner into right-center field for a run-scoring double. Pelz followed with a deep blast well over the left-center field fence for a three-run homer for a 4-0 lead. After an out, Kim got things going again with a single back up the middle. Curt followed with her second home run of the season, a deep blast to left that made it 6-0 Williams. A change in Hendrix pitchers did not immediately slow the Ephs as Murphy followed with a blast to straightaway center that went for a solo home run and a seven-run cushion.
In the third, the Eph put together a little two out magic as Pelz connected with a deep fly to right field that missed being a home run by about a foot, but went for a two-bagger. McElhinney brought the entire team to its collective feet as she lined a double into the right-center field gap for her first hit as an Eph. It drove home Pelz for a 9-0 lead. Kim then lined a single to center that scored the first-year.
In the Williams fourth, Hickey led off with her first collegiate hit, a double to left center. Kirstin Mapes scored her with a single to center and, with two outs, Pelz launched a moonshot to left for a two-run homer and a 12-0.
Hendrix battled back beginning in its half of the fourth, placing seven runs on the board. The Ephs responded with two more runs in their fifth when Curt and Murphy smacked back-to-back solo homers for a 14-7 lead. Down 17-9 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Warriors had runners on first and second with nobody out when Eph center fielder Kristina Alvarado pulled a web gem out of her hat, racing to the warning track in right center and diving full out to snare a shot off the bat of Deva Bharne. Murphy was able to put the finishing touches on the win from there, improving to 2-0 with six innings of work in which she allowed nine hits and four runs, two earned, while walking one and striking out four.
The second game was much more crisp. Rebecca Duncan supplied the power from the circle this time, allowing only one hit while not walking a batter. She allowed only two baserunners over the full seven innings, The only Oshkosh hit came in the third when Natalie Dillon slapped an in-between high-hopper toward short. Jessica Kim had to make a do-or-die attempt just beyond the circle, but the ball hopped away for an infield single, the only hit of the day.
Williams had eight hits in the win, but its only run came in the bottom of the third when Kim shot a one-out single through the right-side of the infield. Curt replaced Kim on the bases after the latter was tagged out after a rundown. With two outs, Murphy singled and Duncan followed with a grounder back up the middle that scored Curt for the only run of the game.
Pelz provided the defensive play of the game this time, robbing Natalie Dudek of a double down the line with a nice backhand stop and long throw to first that needed a Murphy stretch to nip the runner.
Duncan was 2 for 3 in the win with an RBI while Kim was 2 for 4.