WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — The Williams College softball team survived the first two innings and then a 92-minute rain delay to shutout rival Amherst, 11-0, in the third game of the NCAA Div. III Tournament Williamstown regional at Cole Field Saturday.
It was the only game completed on a rainy Saturday. Western New England and Husson stood tied 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth when their game was suspended. That game will be picked up from the point of suspension Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. The winner of Western New England-Husson will play Amherst at 11 .a.m and the survivor of that game is scheduled to play Williams at 2 p.m. in the regional final.
In the 4th Amherst-Williams clash of 2018, sophomore Rebecca Duncan escaped bases-loaded jams in the first and second. Rain halted play after the top of the third. Once play resumed, it was Williams which pushed across three runs in the fourth, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and five in the seventh. Junior Mackenzie Murphy went 2 for 3 with two home runs and five RBI in the victory. Duncan finished with a 5-hit shutout. After the first two frames, she allowed only 3 hits and one walk over the final five innings, striking out seven batters.
In the Williams fourth an error, a walk, a pair of wild pitches and a bunt single from Margo Beck loaded the bases. Mammoth hurler Lorena Ukanwa struck out Brenna Martinez, but Casey Pelz lofted a sacrifice fly to center and reached first when the ball was dropped. Riley Salvo was then hit by a pitch to force home the second run, and Beck slid home on another wild pitch to make it 3-0.
In the Ephs fifth inning, Murphy cranked a solo home run to center field for her 10th of the season and a 4-0 Eph lead. After Kristina Alvarado rifled a single into left, Gina Pagan took the circle for Amherst. Duncan forced out Alvarado at second, but took the bag herself when the relay throw to first bounced away. Duncan took third on a wild pitch and scored when Martinez served an RBI-single to center just in front of hard-charging Julia Turner in center.
Speedy Jessica Kim produced a run nearly by herself in the sixth inning when she singled to left, went from first to third on one wild pitch and scored on a second wild pitch. The Ephs tacked on five in the seventh inning as Lexi Curt had an infield single to second that scored a run and Murphy followed with a long blast to left that went for a grand slam home run and accounted for the final score.
The Ephs had 10 hits in all, with Kim going 2 for 5 with two runs scored and Martinez batting 2 for 4 with an RBI. Ally Kido led Amherst by going 2 for 3.
Duncan improved to 16-3 with the win, giving up five hits while walking four and striking out 10. Ukanwa fell to 17-2 with the loss. She allowed four hits and four runs, only one earned, while walking and striking out two over four innings.
Amherst had two great chances to score in the first and second. In its first, two walks and a hits batsmen loaded the bases with two outs, but Duncan fanned the final hitter. In the second, singles by Kido and Andrea Sanders put runners on first and second with one out. Duncan fanned the next batter swinging, walked Katie Kopatic to load the bases, then fanned the final hitter to end the threat.