WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — Just about everything went the way of the Williams College softball team Saturday as the Ephs combined solid pitching, timely hitting and aggressive baserunning into a 11-3, 8-0 sweep of Little 3 rival Wesleyan at Cole Field.
Both games went 5 innnings due to the eight-run mercy rule. Williams won the Little 3 title by virtue of its 5-1 record again Wesleyan and Amherst. The Ephs improved to 18-6 overall and 8-1 in the NESCAC West, while the Cardinals slipped to 9-18 and 2-9.
Williams is home Monday for a doubleheader against Keene State beginning at 3:30 p.m.
The Ephs came out swinging from the first batter to the last Saturday. They opened game one with a seven-run explosion that put Wesleyan in a hole it could not climb out of. Lead-off hitter Alison Michalik, who was 2 for 3 in each game, reached on an error and stole second. She scored when Erica Li reached on an error. With one out, Ali Graebner dropped down a perfect bunt, beating it out for an infield single and RBI.
A couple walks sandwiched a fielder's choice that left the bases loaded with two outs. Brooke Bovier worked a walk that forced a run home and brought up Mo Frank, who belted a blast to deep left field that cleared the bases for a three-run triple. Michalik then lined an RBI-single into left for the seven-run advantage.
Wesleyan got on the board with one out in the top of the second when Abby Rutt launched a ball over the fence in center field. It stayed 7-1 until the bottom of the third, when two walks and a Bovier single loaded the bases for Frank again. This time the lefty hitter grounded a sharp single into right field, scoring two The ball got under the glove of the Wesleyan right fielder, allowing Boviert and Frank to come all the way around for an 11-1 lead.
In the Wesleyan fourth, a two-out error and a single by Rutt set the staged for Alex Sarkowsky, who lined a two-run double into the left-center field gap, making it 11-3.
Junior Emalie Rott pitched a scoreless fifth to end the game. Bovier improved to 7-2 by throwing three frames. She gave up two hits while walking no one and striking out no one.
Frank led the Ephs' seven-hit attack with a 2-for-2 day that included 5 RBI. Ashley Wirth and Bovier were each 1 for 1 with two runs scored/ Bovier also had an RBI.
Rutt was 2 for 2 for the Cardinals with an RBI. Amanda Roosa took the loss, going 2/3 of an inning and allowing three hits and three while while striking out no one. Of the seven runs charged to her, none were earned.
The Ephs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the nightcap as Michalik singled and took second on a throwing error, Li singled to short and Kacey Cramer was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Graebner grounded out to second, scoring Michalik, and Lindsey Precht beat out a bunt to score Li.
It stayed 2-0 until the bottom of the fifth, though Wesleyan threatened in the fourth and fifth. In the fourth, Rutt led off with a double, but Eph starter bore down and fanned Jill Gately and Roosa, then induced a pop up by Pardo to end the frame. In the fifth, Mollie Grunat and Lindland had two-out singles, but Harrington got a comebacker from Angelina Massoia to extinquish the threat.
The Ephs ended the game with a six-run bottom of the fifth. Michalik ignited the rally with a triple down the right-field line. Li grounded an RBI-single into left and stole second ahead of a Cramer walk. Graebner grounded another single into left to score Li. Precht the lashed a two-run single to left for a 6-0 lead.
The Ephs had 14 hits in the win, led by Precht, who was 3 for 3 with 3 RBI. Michalik, Li, Graebner, Pino and Legan were each 2 for 3 in the victory. Harrington improved to 9-3 by throwing five scoreless frames, giving up four hits and no walks while striking out four.
Rutt was 2 for 2 for the Cardinals, finishing 4 for 4 on the day. Pardo took the loss, falling to 6-8 on the season.