CLERMONT, Fla. — The Williams College softball team had its toughest day of a 16-game, 12-day trip Sunday as the Ephs dropped an early morning game to St. Thomas, 9-6, then dropped a 3-2 decision to Luther College.
Williams is now 9-3. The Ephs play Kalamazoo Monday at 9 a.m. and St. Olaf Monday at 11:30 a.m. before concluding their trip Tuesday.
The Ephs fell behind St. Thomas 1-0 before rallying for three runs in the bottom of the third of the first game. Jennifer Hickey started things when she reached on a one-out error. A Jess Kim grounder resulted in Hickey beating the throw to second to put two Ephs on with one out. After Lexi Curt lined out to shortstop, Rebecca Duncan smoked a two-run double to left to give Williams the lead. Kirstin Mapes followed with an RBI-single to center for a 3-1 Eph advantage.
The Tommies answered back immediately with six runs in the top of the fourth, parlaying three walks, two hits and two Eph errors into a six-run inning that gave them a 7-3 lead. Jenna Beeso had the big blow, a bases-clearing three-run double off Eph starter Mapes.
Williams rallied with two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to climb within one run at 7-6. In the fifth, Kim opened the inning by racing all the way to third on an error. Curt scored her with a sacrifice fly to left. With two outs, Mapes lined a double to center and scored on Margo Back's single back up the middle. In the sixth, Riley Salvo reached on an error and Casey Pelz singled, putting runners on first and second with no outs. After a forceout, Kim rifled a double to center to score Pelz and send Jennifer Hickey to third. Curt then hit a liner to left for the second out and, on the play, Hickey was thrown out at home.
St. Thomas' pitcher Isabelle Marketon came on in the seventh and retired the Ephs in order to end the game.
Mapes was 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored for the Ephs.
In the second game, Luther jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held off the Ephs for the win. In the Williams' sixth, three consecutive singles by Kim, Curt and Duncan loaded the bases with on outs. Mapes popped up to first, and on the play, Duncan was doubled off of first and Kim tagged and scored. Hickey ran for Curt and Beck delivered her home with a single up the middle. But the next batter struck out to end the frame. In the Ephs' seventh, Pelz drew a one-out walk, but could not advance beyond first base as the game ended.
Duncan was given her first loss of the season. She allowed eight hits over six innings and three runs, all earned. She did not walk a batter and struck out eight.