WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams College softball team belted 11 hits and Eph pitchers held MCLA to just one as they defeated the Trailblazers 10-0 on the opening day of the 2015 NCAA Tournament's Williamstown Regional.
With the win, the Ephs (31-7) will advance to the winner's bracket and face WPI tomorrow at 11 a.m. The Trailblazers (15-21) will challenge WNE in an elimination game tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.
The game was called after 4 1/2 innings due to the eight-run mercy rule.
Williams senior Emma Harrington earned the win in the circle for Williams improving to 15-4 on the season. Harrington cruised through the opening four frames as she didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning.
MCLA had a scoring opportunity in the top of the first when Rachel Quackenbush reached on a fielder's choice and Amanda Meczywor walked putting a pair of runners on for Jen Sicinski. Williams' Harrington got Sicinski to fly out to right field to end the threat.
Williams began the bottom of the second inning with a Lexi Curt single to right and she advanced to second on an error. Tayler Donze sacrificed Curt to third base bringing Melissa Cendejas to the plate. Cendejas ripped an RBI single into left giving the Ephs a 1-0 lead. Another Trailblazer miscue and a walk loaded the bases for Erica Li, who was hit by a Quackenbush offering bringing home Cendejas for a 2-0 advantage.
Williams added another run on an Alison Michalik single up the middle, but Quackenbush avoided further damage by inducing a popup and a strikeout.
Williams broke the game open in the bottom of the third inning scoring three more times. Curt began with a double to right field and Taylor Donze reached on an error putting runners on the corners. Donze stole second and then both runners came around on a two-run double off the bat of Cendejas. The Ephs would add another on a Lindsey Precht single making it 6-0 through three innings of play.
Mo Frank belted a leadoff triple for the Ephs chasing Quackenbush to start the fourth inning. MCLA's Amanda Meczywor relieved and gave up a double to Curt making it 7-0 in favor of Williams. A Donze groundout and a pinch-hit double from Ashley Wirth brought home Curt and Cendejas with the eighth and ninth runs of the day for Williams, while Amanda Siedem drove in the final run of the day.
Quackenbush went three innings absorbing the loss. She gave up seven hits and seven runs (6 earned). She struck out four on the afternoon.
Curt finished the day 3-3 for Williams with a pair of doubles and a single while driving in a run. Cendejas chipped in with two hits for the Ephs, but drove in three.