SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — No team at Williams College has dug the long ball as much as the 2018 team — and you can put that on the board.
The Ephs hit four home runs in an 8-0, 9-2 sweep of Skidmore College Thursday, in the process setting a new team single-season home run mark of 49, surpassing the 2017 team's mark of 48. Senior Lexi Curt, who did not homer, did gather two hits against the Thoroughbreds and stands tied with Laura Jacobs '99, for the most hits (185) in a career at Williams.
The Ephs improved to 28-6 with the sweep. They will play two at Smith College Saturday beginning at 12 p.m. before coming home for a Sunday twinbill against Bowdoin that also starts at noon.
Williams broke open both games against Skidmore late. In the opener, the Ephs took a 2-0 lead in the third when Riley Salvo scored on an error and Rebecca Duncan doubled home Mackenzie Murphy. The Ephs put the game out of reach with a six-run fourth inning. Margo Beck led off with a single and one out later Casey Pelz roped a double to left. Salvo then grounded a single into left that scored Salvo. Jessica Kim's second bunt single of the contest loaded the bases for Curt, who singled home Pelz for a 4-0 lead. Murphy followed with a blast to right center that cleared the fence for a grand slam home run and an 8-0 lead.
Duncan took care of the rest, allowing Skidmore just one hit over five shutout innings while walking two and striking out nine. She improved to 11-3 on the season. Murphy went 2 for 3 with 4 RBI, Duncan was 2 for 3 with an RBI and Kim was 2 for 4.
The nightcap was a tight affair through four frames. The Ephs scored single runs in the second and third to build a 2-0 lead. In the second, Kim ripped a one-out double and scored when Kristina Alvarado singled up the middle. In the fifth, Beck lofted a "big fly" to right center, her fifth home run of the season. Skidmore rallied with two runs in its half of the third when hit a two-run double down the left-field line to tie the game.
However, Williams broke the tie with a single run in the top of the fourth and then scored six times -- on two three-run homers -- in the top of the fifth. In the Ephs' fourth, Kim tripled into the left-center field gap and scored on Alvarado's comebacker to the circle. In the fifth. Murphy and Curt singled prior to Kirstin Mapes smacking a three-run homer. An error, an out and a Brenna Martinez single set the stage for Kim, who launched a three-run blast for a 9-2 lead. Once Murphy retired the Thoroughbreds in the bottom of the fifth, the umpires chose to call the game on the count of impending darkness.
Kim was 3 for 3 with a double, triple and home run for Williams riving in three runs and scoring three times. Murphy was 2 for 3. She was credited with the win, throwing two scoreless innings of relief of Mapes, who went the first three, allowing two runs.