WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — The Williams College softball team opened its 2017 home schedule in splendid fashion Wednesday, hitting five home runs over two games and getting nine shutout innings from its starting pitching en rotue to an 8-0, 4-1 sweep of visiting Skidmore.
The Ephs improved to 11-9 overall with the victories. Skidmore fell to 8-14. The Ephs host Hamilton Friday at 4 p.m. in the first game of a three-games series this weekend.
Williams junor Lexi Curt had another big day, going 4 for 6 with two home runs in the two games. She got things going in the opener for the Ephs, homering to dead center field with one out in the bottom of the first for a 1-0 lead. After Mackenzie Muphy singled to left, first year Rebecca Duncan drilled a two-run blast off Skidmore starter Amanda Carilli about 10 feet to the left of where Curt's home run had left the yard.
In the Williams third, Duncan and Margo Beck led off with back-to-back singles. Riley Salvo's grounder forced Beck at second and sent Duncan to third, but first-year Emma Corbett launched a two-bagger in the right-center field gap that extended the Ephs lead.
Murphy was in control from the circle, going the first four frames and giving up only two hits while walking two and striking out one without allowing a run. She picked up her second win of the season.
The Ephs ended the game in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three times to put the eight-run mercy rule into effect. Duncan led off the inning with her second home run of the game, another laser to center field. Beck singled, Salvo drove a ball into the right-center field gap for an RBI-double, and Corbett ended the contest with a frozen rope over the center fielder's head for an RBI-double.
The Ephs had 13 hits in the victory. Duncan was 3 for 3 with three RBI and three runs scored. Cornett was 2 for 3 with three RBI. Beck was 2 for 2 and Salvo and Curt were each 2 for 3.
Senior Brooke Bovier made her first appearance from the circle in the top of the fifth, throwing a scoreless inning.
The Ephs took a 1-0 lead in the nightcap when Beck led off the bottom of the second with a double to left, took third on Casey Pelz's groundout and scored on a wild pitch. The game settled into a pitcher's duel between Williams sophomore Alejandra Magana and Skidmore freshman Emily Popp.
It was still 1-0 entering the bottom of the fifth, but Eph senior Allison Michalik led off with an infield single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kristina Alvarado. Jessica Kim followed with a soaring two-run homer to center, and Curt followed that with her second solo shot of the day to make it 4-0 Williams.
Skidmore scored in the sixth after senior Dana Cohen replaced Magana on the hill. A bases-loaded walk to Popp forced home Carly Fishkin to make it 4-1 with one out, but Duncan came on to get a strikeout and a force out to end the threat.
Magana earned the win, throwing five shutout innings for Williams and giving up just two hits. She did not walk or strikeout a batter. Duncan earned her second save of the season, allowing a walk while fanning one batter over 1 2/3 innings.
Williams had seven hits in the nightcap, with Curt leading the way with her 2 for 3 performance that included her team-leading fourth home run of the season.