WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams College softball team banged out 13 hits in four innings Saturday, scoring in every inning en route to a 17-4 victory over Tufts in a game shortend to five innings because of the eight-run mercy rule.
Williams (31-8) advanced to the championship of the 2016 NESCAC Tournament and will need one win to capture the title. The Ephs will play Tufts at 1 p.m. Sunday after the Jumbos defeated Amherst, 3-1.
The Ephs scored five times in the first against the Jumbos, the defending NESCAC and national champions. They added three in the second, five in the third and four in the fourth.
In the first, Erica Li drew a lead-off walk from Tufts starter Erica County and took second on Jessica Kim fielder's choice. Lexi Curt then lashed an RBI single through the right side of the infield. Mackenzie Murphy followed with a bloop RBI-double just inside the right-field foul line for a 2-0 lead.
After an out, Kacey Cramer walked and sophomore Brenna Martinez lined a two-run single into left-center field for a 4-0 lead. Tayler Donze capped the big first inning by shooting an RBI-single up the middle to score Cramer.
The Ephs added to their lead in the second when sophomore Margo Beck crushed a three-run homer to left for an 8-0 lead. In the Williams third, RBI-singles by Murphy, Ashley Wirth and Casey Pelz made it 12-0. Melissa Cendejas scored a run and drove in a run in the inning.
Cassie Ruscz led off the Tufts fourth with a solo shot to make it 13-1, but Jessica Kim answered that longball with a dinger of her own in the bottom of the inning and the Ephs added a Pelz RBI-double and a two-run single by Martinez to make it 17-1.
Kim's home run helped the Ephs set a new single-season team record for home runs with 30.
In the Tufts fifth, Ruscz added a two-run homer to her day, and Summer Horowitz added a solo shot to account for the final 17-4 score.
Curt was 2 for 2 for the Ephs, with an RBI. Beck was 2 for 3 with three RBI and Martinez 2 for 4 with four RBI. Murphy was 2 for 3 with two RBI and three runs scored. Pelz was 2 for 2 with two RBI.