LA VERNE, CA -- The Williams College softball team extended its win streak to eight games Monday, defeating La Verne 4-3 in the opener and 9-3 in the second game to improve to 11-3 overall.
The Ephs conclude their West Coast swing Tuesday with a doubleheader against NAIA opponent Vanguard beginning at 2 p.m. EST.
Williams trailed game one 3-2 entering the top of the seventh despite a fine performance in the circle from Rebecca Duncan. Senior Kristina Alvarado ignited a two-run rally with a lead-off single. She took second on a passed ball and third on Duncan's groundout. First-year and reigning NESCAC Player of the Week Mara Kipnis then walked and stole second.
After the second out, Kirstin Mapes hit a hard grounder toward second base. The Leopard second baseman got to the ball, but it hit off her glove/foot and bounded behind the bag, allowing both Alvarado and Kipnis to score and give Williams the lead.
Duncan, who retired 12 of the final 13 batters she faced in the game, worked around a one-out single in the bottom of the seventh to secure the victory. She went seven innings and allowed three hits and three runs while walking two and striking out five. The Ephs had six hits in the victory. Senior Jill Jenkin went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Mackenzie Murphy was 2 for 4.
The Ephs jumped out to a 4-0 lead after 2 1/2 innings of the nightcap. In the top of the second, Jenkin drew a two-out walk and scored when senior Casey Pelz roped an RBI-double in the left-center field gap. The Ephs added three in the third when Alvarado drew a lead-off walk, was forced at second by a Duncan grounder, and Duncan scored when Kipnis slammed her 5th home run of the trip, a two-run shot to left. Murphy followed with her first round tripper of the season, an opposite-field blast to right, for the four-run advantage.
La Verne cut it to two with two runs in the third off Murphy, but the Ephs answered with three in the fourth and two in the fifth to build a 9-2 lead. Williams took advantage of four La Verne errors in the fourth to score three times. Alvarado had a couple of key moments, lining an RBI-single to center with one out that scored Pelz, then stealing second and drawing a high throw, allowing Dacia Green to scamper home from third.
In the Williams fifth, Jenkin walked, Pelz doubled and Green walked to load the bases. A walk to first-year Rachel Neugart forced home a run, and Kipnis delivered a sacrifice fly to right that scored Pelz and gave Williams a 9-2 lead.
Murphy was the winner from the circle, going five innings and allowing four hits and two runs while not walking a batter and striking out one. First year Maya Hartman made her pitching debut, going two frames and allowing three hits and one run. The Ephs had six hits again, with Pelz leading the way by going 2 for 4 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored.