WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — M.I.T. rallied from a three-run deficit to post a 7-5 victory over the Williams College softball team Sunday at Cole Field in the third and deciding game of a 2018 NCAA Div. III Super Regional.
The Engineers (38-9-1) took advantage of four Eph errors that led to five unearned runs and will advance to Oklahoma City for the 2018 College World Series. The Ephs saw their season conclude with a 39-8 mark, one win shy of a repeat trip to the national championships. The 39 victories are a new single-season record at Williams.
M.I.T. senior Amanda Lee was named the Super Regional's Most Outstanding Player.
Sunday's decisive battle was a back-n-forth effort from the get-go as the Ephs took a lead in the top of the first when senior Lexi Curt ripped a triple to right field and scored on Mackenzie Murphy's RBI-single through the left side. But, as they would all game, M.I.T. answered when Devon Goetz drove a triple to right and scored when Sarah Von Ahn blooped an opposite-field double over third base to tie the game. Williams came right back with three runs in the second off Engineer ace Ravenne Nasser to take a 4-1 lead. Riley Salvo singled to left and, with two outs, Curt drew the first of three walks in the game. Murphy followed, battling Nasser for 11 pitches before she belted a 3-2 pitch for a line-drive, three-run home to right center.
The Engineers got one back in their half of the third when Michelle Wist grounded an RBI-single up the middle. But Rebecca Duncan took over for Murphy in the circle with the bases loaded and one out and escaped further damage by inducing a pair of pop ups.
M.I.T. took a 5-4 lead in the fourth with three runs. A double by Jasmine Joseph and an error put runners on first and third with no outs. Goetz stole second and Lee then ripped a two-run single to right to make it a 4-4 game. Ahn was hit by a 3-2 pitch, and a second error loaded the bases for Katherine Shade, whose grounder to second scored Lee with the go-ahead run.
Williams came right back as Rebecca Duncan led off the top of the fifth with a moonshot that hit off the top of the fence in left for a double. She went to third on Mapes' groundout and the ever-clutch Martinez came through with a game-tying RBI-single to left that made it 5-5.
Again, M.I.T. was able to answer as a walk and a bunt single by Joseph put the first two runners of the fifth on. They were on second and third with two outs when Von Ahn's grounder to second scooted in right field for a two-run error, giving the Engineers a 7-5 advantage.
The Ephs tried to rally in the sixth when Curt drew a lead-off walk. Murphy then lined a shot back up the middle that Nasser snared and doubled the runner off first. In the seventh, Mapes ripped a one-put single and was run for by Kristina Alvarado. But Martinez's liner to third was snared by Goetz, who then threw to first to double off the runner and end the game.
Nasser, the Super Regional's Most Outstanding Pitcher, improved to 21-4 with the win, allowing four earned runs over six innings, walking two and striking out one. Duncan took the loss, falling to 17-5. She went 3 2/3, allowing three hits and five runs, only one earned, while walking two and striking out none.
Jasmine led the Engineers' 10-hit attack with a 3 for 4 day. Lee was 2 for 4 with 2 RBI. Murphy was 2 for 3 with 4 RBI and a walk for the Ephs. Curt was 1 for 1 with a triple and three walks.