WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — Senior Emma Harrington hurled 3 2/3 innings of shutout relief and Alison Michalik's two-run single in the bottom of the fourth gave Williams a 3-2 lead it would not relinquish Saturday as the Williams College softball team extended its win streak to 11 with a 7-3, 3-2 sweep of NESCAC West Division foe Hamilton at Cole Field.
The two wins improved the Ephs to 26-5 overall and 10-2 in the West Division. A day earlier, a win over the Continentals had clinched a second straight division title for Williams. Hamilton slipped to 13-17, 5-7 in the division.
Williams will next play Friday on the opening day of the 2015 NESCAC Softball Tournament hosted by Tufts. The Ephs, top seed from the West, will face the second-place team from the East Division.
Hamilton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first of the nightcap, getting three consecutive two-out singles from Olivia Gzodz, Daphne Assimakopoulos and Zoe Singer, with Singer picking up the RBI. The Ephs tied the game in their half of the first when Tayler Donze lined a two-out single to left that scored senior Mo Frank, who had singled.
The Continentals regained the lead off Eph senior starter Emalie Rott in the third when Hannah Staab led off with a double and scored on Assimakopoulos's two-out single to center. Williams answered in its half of the fourth when senior Lindsey Precht worked a walk off of Hamilton starter Kelsey Leonard. Ashley Wirth pinch-ran for Precht and stole second. She moved to third on Erica Li's two-out infield single. Li then stole second. Both runners scored when Michalik grounded a hard single into right field, with Li sliding in just ahead of the throw.
Harrington made it stand up despite allowing lead-off doubles to Continentals in the sixth and seventh frames. In the Hamilton sixth, Leonard led off with a two-bagger, but Harrington struck out the next batter. After a single put runners on the corners, Harrington handled a comebacker cleanly and held the runner at third, then retired Ellie Kiernan on a liner to third.
In the Hamilton seventh, Gzodz led off with a double, but Harrington induced a groundout to third, a fly to left and a game-ending grounder to short. She allowed three hits over 3 2/3 innings, walked two and struck out three while improving to 11-2 on the season.
Singer and Julie Carpenter were both 2 for 3 to pace Hamilton's 10-hit attack. Nine different Ephs had hits for Williams.
In the opener, the Ephs built a 4-0 lead with single runs in the first and second and two more in the third. Donze had an RBI single in the first and Cramer launched her two-run home run to left-center in the third.
Hamilton got back into it in the top of the fourth when Assimakopoulos hit a solo homer to left and, following a Kiernan hit, Singer launched a two-run home run two center that made it 4-3.
The Ephs picked up a key insurance run in the fifth when Lexi Curt blasted her team-leading sixth home run of the season, a solo shot that made it 5-3. In the Williams sixth, Michalik and Frank had RBI-singles to put the game out of reach.
Donze and Li were 2 for 3 for Williams, while Michalik was 2 for 4. Bovier allowed five hits and two walks while striking out seven in her complete-game effort.
Assimakopoulos was 2 for 3 for Hamilton. Singer took the loss, giving up 11 hits while waking one and striking out one.