MEDFORD, MA — A big rally in the opener and a stymied rally in the nightcap helped the Williams College softball team open the northern part of its schedule with a sweep of defending national champion Tufts University Saturday, 8-7 and 6-4.
The Ephs improved to 11-5 with the wins and will play at Cole Field Wednesday against Southern Vermont College at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
"It was a great day," said Ephs' head coach Kris Herman. "I thought we had good pitching both games, some clutch hits and played decent defense. We made some mistakes, but then they did too and we capaitalized on theirs. Anytime you can beat a good team you're happy."
The Ephs trailed 6-1 after four innings in the opener, but rallied for five in the top of the fifth to tie the game and scored twice in the sixth to take an 8-6 lead before staving off a last-inning Jumbo rally.
Williams had 12 hits in the victory, led by first year Alison Michalik, who was 3 for 5 with two RBI and a run scored from the lead-off spot. Kacey Cramer was 2 for 5 with two RBI, Theresa Legan 2 for 4 with two RBI and Ashley Wirth 2 for 3 with two runs scored.
Emma Harrington went the distance for the Ephs and improved to 5-2. She gave up eight hits over seven innings while walking one and striking out one. She was charged with seven runs, five of which were earned.
The Ephs' rally began in the fifth when Priscilla Pino reached on an error leading off. Wirth drew a walk, but the next two batters resulted in outs. Legan then ripped an RBI-double to right and Michalik followed with a single off Tufts' starter Lauren Giglio that pushed two runs across. Ercia Li was hit by a pitch and stole second, and Cramer came through with a clutch two-run single to right to tie the game, 6-6.
In the top of the sixth, Pino led off and launched a solo home run to straightaway center field for a 7-6 Eph lead. Williams added an insurance run on Legan's RBI-single. In the bottom of the seventh, Jo Clair led off with a triple for Tufts and scored on Cassie Ruscz's single. Ruscz advanced to third on a pair of groundouts, but Harrington induced Chrissie Massrey to fly out to right and end the game.
In the nightcap, Williams jumped on Tufts' starter Erica County for three runs in the first and three runs in the second to build a 6-0 lead.
In the first, Li beat out an infield hit with one out. Cramer doubled to left scoring Li. Ali Graebner singled to center, scoring Cramer and Pino squeezed Graebner home. In the second, it was Taylor Donze who had the one-out infield hit. She stole second and, after Legan walked, scored on Michalik's double to right. Li singled but Legan was thrown out at home for the second out. Cramer then laced a two-out, two-run single to center to score Michalik and Lee for the 6-0 advantage.
Tufts climbed as close as 6-4 in the sixth on a pair of solo home runs by Clair and Gracie Marshall, but first year Brooke Bovier had a 1-2-3 seventh to wrap up the win for Williams. Bovier went the distance, allowing six hits and four runs, all earned. She did not walk a batter and struck out four.
The Ephs had eight hits in the win. Cramer was 2 for 4 with three RBI, Li was 2 for 4 with two runs scored and Graebner was 2 for 3 with an RBI and run scored.