CLINTON, N.Y. — A three-run first inning was all the Hamilton College softball team needed Friday afternoon as the Continentals opened up NESCAC West Divisional play with a 4-2 win over Williams College.
The Ephs fell to 13-4 on the season, 0-1 in the NESCAC. Hamilton improved to 7-9, 1-0. The two teams are scheduled to meet Saturday at noon in the first game of a doubleheader.
Hamilton's first started with Caitlin Berreitter getting hit by a Rebecca Duncan pitch. She scored one out later in a single up the middle by Emily Fraser. Fraser scored when Helen Lin's fly to right was misplayed for a three-base error. Sophia Cerreta scored Lin for a 3-0 lead with a single to center.
Continental starter Claire O'Brien cruised through the first three frames, facing one batter over the minimum. The Ephs got on the board in the top of the fourth when Kirstin Mapes blasted a triple to right center and Margo Beck scored her with a single to center. The Ephs threatened to tie or take the lead in the fifth, but two key baserunning errors stopped them in their tracks.
Jill Jenkin got things started when she came back from a 1-2 count to work a one-out walk. Jessica Kim followed with a double to the right-center field gap that scored Jenkin. Duncan looped a single to center to put runners on the corners with one out and down a single run. But Kim was caught in a rundown after a botched squeeze attempt for the second out as pinch-runner Jennifer Hickey took second. Murphy then grounded an infield single to third, but Hickey was caught in a rundown between third and home and tagged out to end the inning.
The Ephs would threaten again in the seventh against Hamilton reliever Zoe Singer. Jenkin again worked a one-out walk and took second on a single up the middle from Kim. But Singer induced forceout resulting groundballs from Duncan and Murphy to end the game.
They did out hit Hamilton, 8-5. Kim was 3 for 4 and Beck was 2 for 3. Duncan took the loss, allowing five hits in six innings and four runs, only two earned, while walking one and striking out four.