WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — Williams junior Emma Harrington scattered six hits and did not walk a batter Friday, hurling the Williams College softball team to a 6-0 shutout of Endicott College on the opening day of the NCAA Williamstown Regional played at Cole Field.
Williams (25-11) advanced to face rival Tufts (38-3) Saturday morning at 11. The two teams have split four games this season. The Gulls fell to 25-12-1 and will battle Lesley (20-14) in an elimination game Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
The Ephs wasted little time getting a lead Friday as Alison Michalik singled off Gulls' starter Nell O'Connor leading off the bottom of the first, took second on a passed ball, and came around to score on two consecutive groundball outs.
Harrington (13-7) retired the first 10 batters she faced. Her teammates gave her two insurance runs in the bottom of the third when Theresa Legan drew a lead-off walk and, one out later, Erica Li singled. Ali Graebner grounded a single up the middle for a 2-0 lead, her second RBI of the day. Priscilla Pino grounded a ball to second, and Li raced home ahead of the throw for a 3-0 advantage.
After being no-hit for four innings, the Gulls had two hits in each of the last three, but could not score. In their fifth, still down just 3-0, Emily Hoffman broke up Harrington's no-no with a beautiful lead-off bunt single. One out later, Sam DiBella lined a double into the left-center field gap. But Harrington wiggled out of the jam as both Chrissy Gikas and Jess Linden popped up bunt attempts.
In the Endicott sixth, Alex Moise and Jaime Corda had back-to-back singles with one out. After a pop up, Hoffman smoked a hard grounder down the line that Ephs' third baseman Kacey Cramer made a nice backhanded stop of, then rifled a throw to first to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Ephs put the game away with three runs, all of which were scored on a pair of Endicott errors. The frame started, however, when Cramer lined a double to center and Lindsey Precht singled her to third.
Harrington got the first two outs of the seventh before giving up back-to-back singles, but retired Jesse Bilafer on a fly ball to right to end the game. Harrington had three strikeouts in the victory.
Li and Cramer were each 2 for 3 for the Ephs. O'Connor (13-3) suffered the loss, allowing eight hits over five innings and beging charged with five runs, only two earned.