WHITTIER, CA — It was a game of inches for the Williams College softball team Tuesday as the Ephs dropped a pair of heartbreakers to Whittier (CA) College, 3-1 and 3-2.
The Ephs fall to 4-10 on their trip west, which they conclude tomorrow with a doubleheader at Concordia College beginning at 12 p.m. PST.
The Ephs nearly rallied to win the nightcap. Trailing 3-0 heading into the top of the sixth — thanks to two home runs off the bat of Poet lead-off hitter Alex Flores, a two-run shot in the third and an opposite field solo shot to right in the fifth — they rallied for two runs and had the tying and winning runs on second and third in the seventh with one out before falling short.
In the Williams sixth, Kacey Cramer reached on an error. One out later, Ally Ensor lined a single to center. Melissa Cendejas then followed with a beautiful at-bat pushing Poet starter Courtney DeLano to 11 pitches before drawing a walk to load the bases before sophomore pinch-hitter Lindsay Precht drilled a 1-0 pitch down the left-field line to score two runs and make it a 3-2 game. Priscilla Pino grounded out to short to end the inning.
In the seventh, Amanda Correnti led off with a laser to center field that was misplayed for an error. Ali Graebner pinch-ran and moved to second when Taylor Donze beat out a slap hit to short. Theresa Legan then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt. But DeLano got Kasey Cramer to line out to short and then just nipped Erika Li at first on a bunt attempt for the game's final out.
Ephs senior Megan Casey was the tough-luck loser, allowing only three hits over six frames while walking two and striking out two.
The Ephs dropped the first game when the Poets rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on three hits and two critical Williams errors.
Williams had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning when Erika Li beat out a slap between third and the mound. Taylor Donze moved her two second with a groundout to the right side, and she scored when melissa Cendejas ripped an RBI-double into the left-center field gap.
Eph senior Kaitlin Dinet blanked the Poets over the first five innings, allowing just four hits. But in the Whittier half of the sixth, a hit, outfield error and hit batsman loaded the bases with one out. Jordan Learn then hit what looked like a double play grounder to second, but hustled down the line and beat the relay throw to tie the game.
Xzandra Miranda-Cast then pinch-hit and her grounder to short was misplayed, allowing the go-ahead run to score. The Poets tacked on another insurance run and Whittier starter Jessica Rosnack worked around an error in the top of the seventh to close out the victory.
Dinet took the hard-luck loss, going 5 2/3 innings and allowing seven hits and three runs, none earned, while walking one and fanning no one. Li led the Ephs' six-hit attack with a 3 for 3 performance.