CLINTON, N.Y. — First year Mackenzie Murphy was nearly perfect Friday, hurling a 1-hitter against Hamilton as the Williams College softball team opened a critical three-game NESCAC West series with the Continentals with a 3-1 victory.
Murphy retired the final 14 batters she faced Friday as the Ephs improved to 21-6 on the seasn, 4-0 in the NESCAC West. Hamilton fell to 9-14, 2-4 in the West. The two teams will play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon.
Williams banged out seven hits in their Friday win. The Ephs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Melissa Cendejas boomed a one-out double and Brenna Martinez shot a groundball, RBI-single through the right side with two outs to score Cendejas.
Hamilton tied the game in its half of the second when Ursula Castiblanco lined an opposite-field shot down the right field line for a triple, scoring on the play when the relay throw to third skipped out of play. It was the Continentals first and last hit of the game.
Williams took the lead for good with two runs in the top of the fifth. With one out, Alison Michalik smashed a groundball right through the shortstop's legs for a two-base error. She took third on a wild pitch and scored when Erica Li's grounder to third was misplayed.
Tayler Donze then bunted Li to second and with two outs, Kacey Cramer's grounder through the right side just eluded the dive of the Hamilton second baseman allowing Li to come around to score for a 3-1 lead.
Murphy improved to 8-2 on the season, going the distance and allowing just the one hit while striking out seven over seven innings with no walks and no hit batsmen. Desmen DePaulis took the loss for Hamilton, allowing two unearned runs in two innings of work.
Cendejas and Murphy were each 2 for 3 with a double at the plate for the Ephs.