WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — Two big blasts and a strong pitching performance by junior Rebecca Duncan powered the Williams College softball team to a 4-2 victory over NESCAC West Division foe Hamilton, 4-2, Friday on Cole Field.
The win improved Williams to 13-4 on the season, 1-0 in the conference while the Continentals dipped to 14-3 overall and 0-1 in the NESCAC West. The two teams will face each other twice Saturday in a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m. back on Cole Field.
Hamilton took a 1-0 lead after the first two batters of the game. Lead-off hitter Caitlin Berreitter opened the game with a double to right center. Victoria Dunn then dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but was safe at first and took second as Berreitter scored on a throwing error. But Duncan settled down, inducing a foul out, groundout and a strikeout to end the inning with no other runs coming across. Continental starter Morgan Hartranft retired the first batter she faced until Eph junior Kirstin Mapes belted the first pitch she saw for a line drive solo home run to straightaway center field and tie the game, 1-1, with two outs in the bottom of the second.
Williams took the lead in the bottom of the third when, with one out, Kristina Alvarado reached on an error and stole second. But Alvarado was caught in a rundown for the second out when Hartranft deftly fielded a comebacker from Jessica Kim. However, Kim was able to reach second safely on the play. Mara Kipnis drew a two-out walk which brought up Eph senior Mackenzie Murphy. Murphy drilled a pitch to straightaway center that cleared the fence easily for a three-run home run and a 4-1 Eph lead.
The game stayed that way until the top of the seventh when Hamilton's Liz Brautigam got hold of a Duncan offering and drove it over the fence for a lead-off solo home run that made it 4-2. But Duncan got the next batter on a pop up and, after allowing a single, then induced a groundout to short and a foul out to left fielder Kipnis to end the contest. The Williams right-hander went seven full frames and allowed seven hits, one run, unearned, and walked one while striking out two.
Williams had four hits, the home runs by Mapes and Murphy, a pinch-hit triple from Riley Salvo and an infield single from Mara Kipnis. Hamilton had seven hits, as Caroline Chivily led the way with a 2 for 3 day. Hartranft took the loss, allowing four hits and three walks over five innings. Only one of the four runs charged to her were earned.