WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — A five-run bottom of the sixth inning propelled the Williams College softball team past conference rival Hamilton Friday at Cole Field, 8-5, and to a NESCAC West Division title.
It is the Ephs 10th NESCAC West Division title since the 2001 season, and the first time they've won back-to-back division titles since the 2006-07 seasons. Williams improved to 24-5 with the victory while Hamilton fell to 13-15 overall.
"We are happy to repeat as West Division champs and represent Williams at the NESCAC Tournament," Ephs' head coach Kris Herman said. "We're excited for tomorrow as we have a chance to continue to improve, and look forward to next weekend."
The same two teams will play a doubleheader at Cole Field Saturday beginning at 12 p.m.
Friday's game was knotted at three heading into the bottom of the sixth. Alison Michalik led off with a soft line drive single to right. Mo Frank beat out a bunt attempt and when the throw was in the dirt, Michalik took third. Frank stole second, and Kacey Cramer's grounder up the middle was knocked down but resulted in no throw and an RBI-single for a 4-3 lead.
Hamilton rallied in the top of the seventh when Olivia Gzodz and Daphne Assimakopoulos opened the frame with singles. After an out, Zoe Singer's single to right scored one run and another came home on an error to cut the deficit to 8-5. Eph hurler Brooke Bovier settled down to get two ground ball outs and end the ballgame.
Hamilton had taken a 3-1 lead in the game with a three-run top of the third off Williams starter Emma Harrington. Becca Butler drew a lead-off walk and Phoebe Colli singled. Hannah Dtaab's single loaded the bases for Kelly Leonard, who lined a single to center to tie the game. Gzodz then ripped a line drive through the left side of the infield to score two runs for the 3-1 lead.
Williams tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the third on four consecutive singles by Cramer, Curt, Tayler Donze and Melissa Cendejas, the latter driving home a run. A bases-loaded walk to Precht tied the score.
Gzodz was 2 for 3 with 2 RBI for the Continentals, who had five hits. Leonard took the loss, allowing 14 hits over six innings.
Frank was 3 for 4 for the Ephs with a run scored and three stolen bases. Cramer, Curt, Donze and Cendejas each had two hits for the Ephs, with Curt going 2 for 4 with 3 RBI and two runs scored. Bovier earned the win in relief of Harrington, allowing four hits and four walks while striking out one over 4 2/3 innings of work. She improved to 13-3 on the season.