WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — It was a hard-fought day on the diamond for the Williams College softball team as it took one of three games from rival Amherst Saturday.
The Ephs opened the day by winning the resumption of Friday's contest that was suspended after nine innings because of darkness, 5-4 in 10 innings, but fell in game one of the regularly scheduled doubleheader, 7-1, then dropped the nightcap when Mammoth Ronnie Falasco hit a three-run walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.
Williams is now 21-6 overall and 6-3 in the NESCAC West while Amherst sits at 21-3 and 7-1 in the West. The Ephs are home Wednesday for a doubleheader vs. cross-town rival MCLA beginning at 4 p.m.
Completion of Friday's Game -- Williams 5, Amherst 4, 10 innings
After Rebecca Duncan got out of the top of the 10th without giving up a run, Riley Salvo sacrificed Brenna Martinez to third and, with two outs, Jessica Kim singled up the middle to score Martinez with the game-winning run.
On Friday, Williams senior Lexi Curt hit a two-out, two-strike single into left field in the bottom of the eighth inning Friday as the Ephs rallied to tie Amherst, 4-4, in a game suspended after nine innings by darkness.
Amherst led 2-0 after five innings and 2-1 entering the bottom of the seventh, but Eph junior Mackenzie Murphy stroked a one-out solo home run to tie the game and send it into extra innings. The Mammoths re-took the lead in the top of the eighth. With one out and Audrey Hensen on first, Ally Kido hit a laser to straightaway center field for a two-run home run and a 4-2 lead. It was the first home run hit off Eph starter Rebecca Duncan this season.
Down to their final at-bat for the second time, the Ephs rallied off Amherst senior Gina Pagan. With one out, Brenna Martinez beat out a slow roller to short for an infield hit. Riley Salvo then lined a single to center field. Cris McElhinney hit a grounder to short that resulted in Martinez being forced out at third for the second out. Jessica Kim followed with a grounder to short that led to an error which loaded the bases. Curt fouled off a couple of Pagan offerings before grounding a 2-2 pitch into left that scored Salvo and McElhinney to tie the game. Pagan then got a strikeout to end the inning.
Amherst took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on Julia Turner's line drive RBI-single to center. They upped that to 2-0 with a run in the top of the sixth when, with two outs, Kido singled up the middle and scored when Allyson Plaman lined a shot into left-center field that rolled to the fence for a double. Kido raced home and was called safe on a bang-bang play at the plate.
Williams got one run back in its half of the sixth when Amherst starter Lorena Ukanwa hit Duncan with a pitch and Margo Beck lined a single to center. Kirstin Mapes then grounded a single back up the middle that scored Duncan and put runners on first and second. At that point, Pagan replaced Ukanwa in the circle. After a strikeout and a forceout at third, a walk to McElhinney loaded the bases for Kim, but Pagan induced the Ephs' lead-off batter to hit into a force play at third to end the threat.
Game 1, Amherst 7, Williams 1
AMHERST -- Mammoth unior Lorena Ukanawa pitched a complete game for Amherst, striking out eight batters and allowing only three hits. She improved to 12-0.
Amherst broke open a scoreless tie with four runs in the fourth inning on singles by Audrey Hansen and Julia Turner and a double by Annie McCluskey. Williams pushed back in the fifth inning with a home run by Mapes, but Hansen countered with a three-run home run to put the game out reach. The Ephs committed three costly errors that led to six unearned runs.
Mackenzie Murphy suffered her first loss of the season from the circle, going 4 2/3 innings and allowing nine hits and seven runs, only one earned, while striking out four.
Game 2: Amherst 7, Williams 4
AMHERST -- The Ephs trailed 4-1 after three but clawed their way back to tie the game with two runs in the fifth and one in the seventh. Curt's dramatic solo home run off Ukanawa with two outs and nobody on in the top of the seventh tied the game, but Amherst had an answer in the bottom of the inning.
Duncan retired the first two batters of the frame before Plaman and Hansen laced singles to put runners on first and second for Falasco, who launched the game-ending three-run homer.
Amherst's Annie Murphy '19 opened with 2 RBI in the second inning. Martinez homered for the Ephs in the third to make it 2-1, but Hansen had her second home run of the day (2 RBI) in the third inning to push the Amherst lead back to 4-1. The Ephs rallied in the fifth as Martinez led off with a single and Casey Pelz followed with a double. Kristina Alvarado beat out a bunt single to score Martinez and raced to second on an error as Pelz took third. After an out, Curt lofted a sacrifice fly to score Pelz and make it 4-3.
Both teams had 10 hits. Martinez went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored, Murphy went 2 for 4. Falasco was 3 for 3 with three RBI and two runs scored for the Mammoths.