MIDDLEBURY, VT. -- Tayler Donze had two hits and an RBI and Brooke Bovier threw a complete-game three-hitter Sunday as the Williams College softball team edged NESCAC West rival Middlebury, 3-2, for its eighth straight victory.
The Ephs improved to 23-5 overall, 7-2 in the NESCAC West. The Ephs host Skidmore Wednesday in a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.
Sunday's win gave Williams a sweep of the three-game series with the Panthers. The Ephs took both ends of a doubleheader back on April 4.
In the opening frame for Williams, Alison Michalik singled to start the game. After stealing second, Michalik raced home on a bloop single to right by Tayler Donze for a 1-0 lead. The Ephs had a chance in the second to expand their lead when Lindsey Precht smashed a one-out double down the left field line, but Panther hurler Neve Stearns got consecutive fly-outs to end the threat.
Middlebury got its first baserunner on in the second inning, when Erin Giles drew an opening walk. Giles was later forced out at second on a nice 1-6 fielder's choice started by pitcher Brooke Bovier with one away. Bovier induced an infield pop-out to end the second.
Williams started a two-out rally in the third, as Donze got her second single to right, later reaching second on a walk by Lexi Curt. Melissa Cendejas followed with a shot to the left side hole, but Middlebury's shortstop Hye-Jin Kim knocked it down and tossed to second for the inning-ending force-out.
With one-out in the fourth, Carlyn Vachow got the Panthers' first hit off Bovier beating out a close play at first. Middlebury couldn't capitalize, hitting into a classic 6-4-3 double-play, to end the inning.
The visitors earned some breathing room in the sixth, scoring a pair of runs. Erica Li was hit by Stearns to start the inning, as Michalik reached on a check-swing ball that Stearns misplayed. On the Michalik play, Li was awarded third base and Michalik second on Stearns' throwing error. That was all for Stearns, as Allison Quigley came in relief with no outs. Quigley tossed a wild pitch to Mo Frank, allowing Li to score and Michalik to reach third. Later in the at-bat, Frank roped an RBI single to left center, scoring Michalik for a 3-0 Williams advantage.
The Panthers rallied in the bottom of the sixth as Christina Bicks laced a one-out double to left-center. Lead-off hitter Siobhan O'Sullivan followed and was hit by Bovier. With two on, Kat Maehr crushed a two-run double to left field, closing the gap to 3-2. The Panthers had two chances to get the equalizer to cross home, but Bovier got out of the jam with a deep fly-out to left and a foul-out.
Williams went down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh, bringing the Panthers to bat with a chance to tie it in the final frame. After a tough sixth inning in the circle, Bovier sent Middlebury down in order, collecting her 12th win on the year.
Donze paced Williams with two singles and an RBI, as Michalik has a hit and scored twice. Frank went 1-4 with an RBI, while Precht has the other hit for the Ephs, a double in the second inning. Bovier (12-3) went the distance, allowing three hits and two earned runs over seven innings.
Maehr's two-run double highlighted the Panther batting, as Bicks and Vachow each collected singles. Stearns (5-3) went 4.0 innings, allowed three runs (two earned) with a pair of K's, as Quigley tossed the final three innings, allowing one hit and no runs.