WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Williams College junior Emma Harrington fired a four-hit shutout while senior captain Ali Graebner added a grand slam and junior Lindsey Precht a two-run home run Friday as the Ephs opened the 2014 NESCAC Tournament with a 6-0 win over Bowdoin College at Cole Field.
Williams (23-9) advances to play the winner of Tufts-Middlebury Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The Polar Bears (24-13) will face the loser of that same game Saturday at 10 a.m.
The Ephs broke open a scoreless pitcher's duel between Bowdoin's Melissa Della Torre and Harrington with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the third. With one out, Eph lead-off batter Alison Michalik lashed a single through the left side. Erica Li followed with a slash hit also to the left side. Kacey Cramer drew a walk from Della Torre to load the bases for Graebner, who picked a good time for her first home run of 2014, launching a no-doubter over the fance in left-center for a 4-0 Williams lead.
What proved to be Bowdoin's last opportunity to get back into the game came in the top of the fourth when, with two outs, Cielle Collins lined a single to left, took second on a wild pitch and stayed there as Casey Correa drew a walk. Harrington got out of the jam by inducing a foul fly ball to left fielder Li off the bat of Marissa O'Toole.
Williams added two runs in the fifth when Graebner singled up the middle with one out and took second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Precht lined a shot th straightaway center that just cleared the fence for a two-run homer, her second of the season.
As for Harrington, she retired the last 10 batters she faced to improve to 12-5. Over seven innings, she gave up four hits and two walks while fanning five. Della Torre took the loss, falling to 9-5, giving up seven hits and six runs, all earned, while walking one and fanning six over five innings.
Graebner was 2 for 3 with 4 RBI for the Ephs and Precht was 2 for 3 with 2 RBI.