Ephs hurl way to sweep of Chapman in season opener

Ephs hurl way to sweep of Chapman in season opener

ORANGE, CA — Senior Mackenzie Murphy fired a complete-game seven-hitter in the second game of a doubleheader Sunday to help the No. 10 Williams College softball team to a 4-1 victory and a sweep of their season-opening doubleheader with Chapman University. Junior Rebecca Duncan, the 2018 NESCAC Pitcher of the Year, tossed six innings of two-hit shutout softball at the Panthers in game one en route to a 5-0 Ephs victory.

Williams (2-0) will be back in action Monday with a doubleheader at Claremont Mudd Scripps beginning at 3 p.m. EST. 

The Ephs had 10 hits in their game one victory, and opened the scoring in the second when Riley Salvo was hit by a pitch and took third when Jenny Hickey looped the Ephs first hit of the 2019 season into short right field. Hickey stole second and when the Panthers made an attempt to throw her out, Salvo stole home for the game's first run. The Ephs added two more in the third inning when junior Kirstin Mapes bounced a single into right field. She was forced out at second on a grounder off the bat of Gabi Medvene-Cirigliano. Medvene-Cirigliano took second on a wild pitch and scored when Duncan dropped a soft liner into left-center field. Duncan took third on an error on the throw home, and scored when Riley Salvo drilled a hard grounder back up the middle for an RBI-single. 

The Ephs added two runs in the sixth when Hickey led off the frame with a single and scored on a Jessica Kim groundout. Kristina Alvarado reached on an error and came around to score on an RBI-single by Murphy. 

The rest ws up to Duncan. She allowed just the two hits, one a lead-off bunt single in the first frame, and walked only one while striking out four over her six innings of work. Mapes came on an threw a scoreless bottom of the seventh to seal the shutout. Hickey was 2 for 3 with a run scored, Mapes was 2 for 4 and Murphy 2 for 5 with an RBI in the win. 

Williams took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first of the nightcap when, with two outs and nobody on, Murphy lined a triple into the right-center field gap. Mapes drew a walk and Murphy scored as Duncan reached on a fielding error by the Panther third baseman. Chapman tied the game in its half of the first as three of the first four batters Murphy faced had singles. She would settle down after that, allowing only four hits the remainder of the way (6 1/3 innings) while not walking a batter and striking out three. 

The Ephs would reclaim the lead for good in the second when senior Casey Pelz led off the frame by lining a shot down the left-field line that cleared the fence for the Ephs' first home run of the season. In the third, Duncan led off and reached on an error, Medvene-Cirigliano singled to left and Pelz belted an RBI-double to left center for a 3-1 lead. The Ephs final run came in the seventh when first year Rachel Neugart led off with a walk, moved to second on a groundout, took third on a passed ball and scored on a throwing errror on that play. 

The Ephs had six hits, led by Pelz who was 2 for 3 with a double, home run and two RBI.