CLERMONT, Fla. — Two strong pitching performances lifted the Williams College to two more victories Monday as the Ephs defeated Kalamazoo 11-4 and then knocked off St. Olaf, 10-2, in five innings.
Williams improved to 11-3 with the sweep. The Ephs conclude their trip to Florida with two games Tuesday; Wisconsin-Whitewater at 11;30 a.m. and Buffalo State at 2 p.m.
In the first game, Mackenzie Murphy returned from an injury to hurl 6 1/3 innings of no-hit softball, lifting the Ephs to an 11-4 victory over Kalamazoo. Lexi Curt smacked her 6th home run of the season.
Williams opened the game with a four-run first inning. Jessica Kim led off the game with a double and Curt followed with her home run to left for a quick 2-0 lead. Rebecca Duncan, Kirstin Mapes and Riley Salvo followed with consecutive singles that loaded the bases with no outs and prompted Kalamazoo to make a pitching change after five batters. Consecutive bases-loaded walks to Casey Pelz and Brenna Martinez brought in two more runs for the four-run advantage.
Lexi Curt opened the second inning with a single and Duncan's single down the right-field line pushed her to third. Mapes followed with a double into the right-center field gap to chase home both runners for a 6-0 lead. In the Ephs' third, Cris McElhinney led off with a single, went to second on an error and scored when Curt lined a double down the left-field line for a 7-0 lead.
After three hitless innings, Murphy came out of the circle and Emma Corbett replaced her. But two outs and four runs later, Murphy was back and she went the final 3 1/3 innings without allowing Kalamazoo a hit. Her totals were 6 1/3 innings, no hits, one walk and nine strikeouts as she improved to 3-0.
The Ephs added three in the fifth when Pelz rocketed a three-run, bases-clearing double to right center and one more in the seventh on Salvo's sacrifice fly. Williams had 17 hits in the win. Curt was 3 for 4 with 3 RBI. Duncan was 3 for 5 with 4 runs scored. Mapes was 2 for 2 with 2 RBI. Dacia Green was 2 for 3. Salvo and McElhinney were each 2 for 4.
In the St. Olaf game, Williams took a 1-0 lead in the first when Kim led off by striking out but reaching on a wild pitch. Two wild pitches and an error later, she was home for a 1-0 lead. The Ephs added two more in the second. After a Brenna Martinez double and a wild pitch, an error on Jenny Hickey's grounder made it 2-0. Curt scored Hickey with a single to left center. Five more runs in the fourth innings gave the Ephs an 8-0 lead. Martinez belted her second double of the game and scored on a Hickey RBI-single. A squeeze bunt by Kim brought in one run and a second scored on a throwing error on that play. Pelz capped the rally with a two-run double to left.
After St. Olaf scored two unearned runs in the top of the fifth to make it 8-2, the Ephs ended the game with Curt's two-run, "walk-off" double in the bottom of the fifth.
Duncan went all five for the win, allowing five hits and two runs, both unearned, while walking one and striking out eight. Williams had nine hits. Martinez was 2 for 3 with two doubles and two runs scored. Curt was 2 for 4 with a double, 3 RBI and a run scored.
NOTES: Lexi Curt was named the NESCAC Softball Player of the Week for play ending Sunday, March 26. Already the owner of career records at Williams for doubles and home runs, she became the all-time leader in RBI, surpassing Jen Hallett '96, who held that record for 22 years. Curt also set the school record for total bases in a career, surpassing the mark set by Joey Lye '09.