WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Mackenzie Murphy fired a two-hit shutout while Lexi Curt led a 10-hit attack with a home run and double to propel the Williams College softball team past Husson University, 6-0, in Game 2 of the NCAA Div. III Tournament Williamstown Regional Friday afternoon at Cole Field.
Williams (36-6) advanced to Game 3 Saturday at 11 a.m. against familiar foe Amherst (28-6), which defeated Western New England, 2-0, in Game 1 of the Regional Friday. Husson (21-14) is scheduled to play WNE (24-17) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in an elimination game.
Curt, named the NESCAC Player of the Year Thursday, opened the scoring with a long solo home run to center field in the bottom of the first, giving the Ephs a 1-0 advantage. The Ephs added a single tally in the second when Margo Beck led off with a sinking drive to right that landed safely and bounded by the diving field for a triple. She scored two batters later when Casey Pelz ripped a liner off the top of the glove of the leaping Eagles' shortstop, Chloe Gorey.
The Ephs' kept their attack going in the third. Curt led off with a deep drive to left that put a dent in the top of the left field fence. She survived a collision with the Eagle first baseman to reach second on a double. One out later, Kirstin Mapes ripped a single into left to score Curt for a 3-0 lead. After Rebecca Duncan walked, Beck flew out for the second out, but Brenna Martinez drove a shot into the left-field gap to score pinch-runner Kristina Alvarado and up the Williams lead to 4-0.
In the meantime, Murphy retired 10 straight Eagles at one point, letting her defense do a lot of the work. Beck came up with a diving, rolling grab in right to save a hot, and Alvarado ran down a couple of deep flies in the gaps for outs. Murphy helped herself as well from the circle, making a couple of athletic plays.
The Ephs added a run in the fourth on an RBI-single from Alvarado and a run in the sixth on an RBI-triple to right off the bat of Murphy. The Ephs set a new school record for runs scored in the season, upping their total to 313. The previous mark was 307 set by the 2016 team.
Murphy improved to 15-1 on the season by allowing just the two hits over seven innings. She did not walk a batter and struck out two. Curt was 2 for 3 with an RBI and run scored. Beck was 2 for 3 with a run scored.
Jen Jones took the loss for the Eagles. She went six, allowing 10 hits and four walks and did not strike out a batter. Gorey and Tamara Aunchman had the Husson hits.