WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — A little deja vu for the Williams College softball team Saturday.
After dispatching Middlebury 9-0 in game one of a doubleheader, sophomore Rebecca Duncan capped a late rally with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh of the nightcap to give the Ephs a 3-2 victory and a sweep of the three-game series played at Cole Field.
Senior Lexi Curt continued her assault on the Williams record book, hitting her 11th home run of the season in the opener, a new single-season mark.
The wins improved Williams to 26-6 overall and completed its record for the 2018 season in the NESCAC West Division at 9-3. The Ephs are scheduled to play a doubleheader at Skidmore beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Middlebury fell to 13-11 with the two losses. The Panthers face Hamilton Sunday at 12 p.m. in a game to be played at Cole Field on the campus of Williams College.
Williams trailed 2-0 entering the bottom of the sixth inning of the second game Saturday thanks to back-to-back home runs by Allison Quigley and Melanie Mandell in the top of the fourth inning. Duncan, who had hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning of Friday's 7-6 Williams win, halved the Ephs deficit when she led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run to center.
Middlebury starter Emily Morris retired the first batter of the bottom of the seventh before Casey Pelz won a lengthy battle with a line drive single to center. Pinch-hitter Riley Salvo was hit by a Morris offering. Jessica Kim than hit a high-bounding single back up the middle that scored pinch-runner Cris McElhinney to tie the game. On the play, an errant throw allowed pinch-runner Kristina Alvarado and Kim to move up to third and second, respectively. The Panthers elected to pitch around Lexi Curt, walking her to load the bases for Duncan, who lined the first pitch she saw from Morris into left field to drive home the game-winning run.
Mackenzie Murphy improved to 10-1 with four scoreless innings of relief. She allowed two hits and did not walk a batter while striking out two. Duncan was 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and a run scored. Morris took the loss, allowing seven hits in 6 1/3 innings while walking two and striking out six.
The Ephs knocked Middlebury starter Quigley out in the second inning of the opening. After Duncan smacked a three-run double in the first, the Ephs added three more quickly in inning number two off reliever Irene Margiotta. Salvo reached on an error, Kim beat out a bunt for a single and Curt followed with her record-breaking home run, a three-run blast to right center, for a 6-0 lead. After an out, Kirstin Mapes drew a walk and Margo Beck singled. Duncan then hit a grounder to short that resulted in a throwing error at third base, allowing another run to score. Brenna Martinez followed with an RBI-single for an 8-0 lead.
Duncan took care of the rest, allowing just a single hit over her five innings of work. She walked one and struck out six while improving to 10-3. She was 2 for 3 with 4 RBI at the plate. Beck was 1 for 2 with three runs scored. Taylor Gardner had the lone Panther hit. Quigley took the loss.