WHITTIER, CA — The Williams College softball team received strong pitching and timely hitting Saturday en route to a 6-2, 10-1 (6 inn., mercy rule) sweep of Willamette University in a doubleheader played at Whitter College.
The Ephs improved to 7-3 overall heading into a Sunday doubleheader at Pomona Pitzer beginning at 5:30 p.m. EST.
First year Mara Kipnis hit 3 for 4 with 5 RBI in the nightcap and finished 5 for 7 with two home runs on the day.
In the opener, the Ephs scored four times in the first and never looked back. Jessica Kim got things started with a walk and advanced on a single by Kipnis. A wild pitch moved the runners up and, after an out, Rebecca Duncan roped an RBI-single to left. That brought up Kirstin Mapes, who connected for her first round tripper of the year,a three-run blast to center field that gave Williams a 4-0 lead. The Ephs gave one back to Willamette in the top of the second as a throwing error on a steal attempt allowed a run to score. But they answered back with one of their own in the third when Kipnis smacked her first collegiate home run for a 5-1 lead. It stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth, when senior Kristina Alvarado drew a bases-loaded walk to force home a run.
Senior Mackenzie Murphy was on point from the circle, allowing only two hits while pitching the full seven frames. She did not walk a batter and struck out six. Only one of the two runs she allowed were earned. Duncan went 2 for 2 from the dish with a double, RBI and two runs scored. Mapes was 2 for 3 with three RBI and a run scored to go with her homer. Kipnis was 2 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored. That trio accounted for all six of the Williams hits.
In the second game of the day, the Ephs built a 5-0 lead after 1 1/2 innings. In the top of the first, Kim led off with a walk and stole second. Kipnis hit a drive to center that was misplayed, allowing Kim to score. Duncan's two-out RBI-single scored Kipnis for a 2-0 lead. In the second, sophomore Gabi Medvene-Cirigliano led off with a single through the shortstop hole. Jill Jenkin was hit by a pitch, and one out later, Kim singled to load the bases. Kipnis promptly unloaded them, driving a ball to left-center that rolled to the fence for a three-run double and a 5-0 Williams lead.
That would be all Duncan would need. She went the first four frames and did not allow a hit. She walked one and struck out five while improving to 3-2 on the season. Emma Corbett came on for her first appearance of the season and toss the final two innings, giving up three hits and one run. The Ephs would add two more runs in the fifth as Jenkin provided a basehit to right that, coupled with an error, brought two runners home. In the Williams sixth, Dacia Green led off with a double down the left-field line. Kim singled her home and took second on the play. Kipnis followed with her second home run of the day, a two-run blast to left center that accounted for the final scoring.
Kim was 2 for 3 with three runs scored, a walk and an RBI. Jenkin was 2 for 2 with a run scored. The Ephs had 11 hits in the victory.