MIDDLEBURY, VT. — Two big sixth-inning rallies helped the Williams College softball team open play in New England with a critical 6-4, 7-0 sweep of NESCAC West Division rival Middlebury Friday afternoon.
Williams improved to 14-3 on the season, 2-0 in the West Division. Middlebury fell to 9-5 overall, 2-2 in the West. The two teams will attempt to complete the three-game series tomorrow beginning at 12 p.m.
The Ephs rallied from a 3-0 deficit to take the opener. With the game tied 3-3, Priscialla Pino led off the top of the sixth with a walk and stole second. With two outs, Pino still stood on second, but Alison Michalik came through with a grounder back up the middle to score Pino with the tiebreaking run. Mo Frank followed with a line drive triple down the right field line which scored Michalik, and Kacey Cramer followed with an RBI-single to center for a 6-3 lead.
The Panthers got a run back in the bottom of the frame on a single and two Eph errors, but Harrington wriggled out of a first and second with one-out jam by inducing a pop out and fielder's choice groundball that ended the threat. Middlebury went qiuetly in the seventh.
Williams trailed 3-0 but began its comeback in the fourth when Tayler Donze ripped a one-out, two-run single to right center field that scored Melissa Cendejas and Lexi Curt. Curt had doubled to start the rally.
The Ephs tied the game in the fifth, again with clutch hitting. With two outs and no one on, Frank singled and Cramer walked. Margo Beck followed with an RBI-double to make it a 3-3 contest.
Harrington earned the win, scattering eight hits over seven innings while walking one and striking out three. Of the the four runs, only three were earned.
Pino was 2 for 3 with a run scored, Frank and Michalik were each 2 for 4 in the win.
The nightcap was scoreless through five innings as Bovier dueled with Panther starter Allison Quigley. In the Williams sixth, Lindsey Precht worked a one-out walk and Ashley Wirth ran for her. Brenna Martinez reach on an error that pushed Wirth to second. Donze then lined an opposite-field single down the left-field line that scored Wirth with the first run of the game. A passed ball allowed Martinez to score and Donze to advance to second.
Michalik followed with a triple to left-center field that scored Donze for a 3-0 lead and Cramer scored her with a two-out single to center field to make it 4-0.
The Ephs put the game away in the seventh with three runs on four Middlebury errors.
Bovier was sharp, giving up just the three hits while walking four and striking out two to record the shutout. Cramer was 3 for 4 with an RBI, Michalik and Frank were both 2 for 4.