Frank's walk-off gives Ephs key sweep of rival Amherst

Frank's walk-off gives Ephs key sweep of rival Amherst

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — Amherst native Mo Frank's first at-bat in nearly a month resulted in a walk-off single Saturday, sending the Williams College softball team to an 8-7 game two victory over their rivals and giving them a sweep of a critical NESCAC West doubleheader at Cole Field.

Williams won the first game 4-3 behind pitcher Emma Harrington and a clutch two-run single off the bat of senior Amanda Correnti. With the sweep, the Ephs improved to 9-15 overall, 3-2 in the NESCAC West. Amherst fell to 18-8 overall, 3-5 in divisional play.

"Obviously, today was a total team effort," Ephs' head coach Kris Herman said. "Everyone that played contributed to both victories. We picked each other up. Every time something did not go our way, we picked each other up. That was really nice to see."

The Ephs spotted Amherst a 2-0 lead in each game, but fought back for the win each time. In the nightcap, the Ephs built a 6-3 lead only to see the Lord Jeffs rally for four runs in the top of the fifth to take a 7-6 lead.

Carolyn Miller got things started for Amherst with an RBI-double to left center off Eph starter Kaitlin Dinet. Idalia Friedson's line drive to right just over the leaping Theresa Legan at second tied the game, and the Jeffs took the lead on a Sarah  McKay groundout.

The Ephs tied  it up in their half of the fifth Melissa Cendejas drew a lead-off walk from Caroline Sealander, the Jeffs' second hurler of the game. Merrilee Weston forced her out at second and was replaced by pinch-runner Frank. After a second out, Legan — the Ephs' slap-hitting lead-off hitter, drilled a shot into the left-center field gap that fell for an RBI-double.

Williams senior Megan Casey made sure the game remained tied through the top of the seventh, tossing three full innings of one-hit, shutout relief. She wiggled out of a jam in the top of the seventh when Miller led off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch with no outs.But Casey fanned the next hitter, got a fly ball for out number two, then worked around a walk by inducing McKay to hit a comebacker to the circle for the final out.

The Jeffs' brought in their ace Theresa Kelly — who came into the day 11-1 — in the sixth and she had a quiet frame. But Dinet led off the seventh with a bullet to right field that fell for a hit then skipped past the right fielder, allowing Dinet to get all the way to third. After an out, Frank drilled a two-strike pitch into left-center for her game winning hit.

Each team had eight hits in the game. Miller and Reilly Horan each went 2 for 4 for Amherst. Kacey Cramer was 2 for 4 for the Ephs. Cendejas was 1 for 2 with two RBI.

In the opener, Amherst sophomore Donna Leet put the Ephs in a quick hole when — as the third batter of the game — she blasted a two-run home run to center. Williams junior Ally Ensor tied the game in the bottom half of the first when she poked an RBI-ground-rule double to left. Erika Li scored the second run on when she was deemed to have been interfered with running from second to third on the play.

Leet's RBI-single in the top of the third regained the lead for Amherst at 3-2. The Ephs came back for two in their fouth for a 4-3 advantage. Lindsay Precht walked and Cendejas singled. After a Weston groundout advanced the runners to second and third, Correnti grounded a single back up the middle for a two-run single.

Harrington took care of the rest, cruising through the fifth and sixth with just a runner on by error. However, Amherst's Brianna Cook led off the seventh with a double, putting the tying run on second with no outs. Harrington struck out the next batter, got a soft fly to right for the second out and then fielded a comebacker from Kelsey Ayers to end the game.

Harrington went the full seven, allowing just five hits and one walk while fanning four. Kelley took the loss, going the first 3 2/3 innings and allowing eight hits. Legan and Ali Garebner were both 2 for 3 for the Ephs. Leet was 2 for 3 with all three RBI for Amherst.