Ephs win key game with NESCAC West foe Amherst, 5-3

Ephs win key game with NESCAC West foe Amherst, 5-3

AMHERST, MA — Junior Riley Salvo drove in three runs and senior mackenzie Murphy tossed a complete-game six-hitter Wednesdy as the No. 3 Williams College softball team won a key NESCAC West Division battle with rival Amherst, 5-3. 

The win extended the Ephs win streak to 13 and upped their overall record to 24-4, 7-0 in the West. They are scheduled to host Amherst in the final two games of the series, a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m.

Wednesday the Ephs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Rebecca Duncan singled, Murphy drew a walk and Kirstin Mapes was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Salvo came through with a two-run single to left that scored Duncan and Murphy. The Ephs added a run in the third when Murphy walked and Mapes singled to center. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third before Mara Kipnis walked to load the bases. Salvo was then plunked by a pitch to force home Murphy for a 3-0 advantage. 

The Mammoths got one back in their half of the third on a Sammy Salustri RBI-single, but Murphy quelled the uprising and held Amherst off the scoreboard for hree more innngs. In the top of the sixth Williams added two more insurance runs when Murphy reached on an error that allowed Jessica Kim, who had singled, to score, and Mapes drilled an RBI-single to center to score Duncan, who had reached on a fielder's choice. 

Things got dicey in the Amherst seventh as the Mammoths put runners on second and third with one out. Sammy Salustri drove in a run with a single to make it 5-2, and with two outs, Virginia Ryan singled to left to make it 5-3 and put the tying runs on second and third. Murphy retired the next batter on a grounder to second to end the game. 

It was Murphy's 10th win of the season. She allowed six hits and no earned runs. She walked one batter and struck out three. Mapes was 2 for 3 with an RBI and Duncan 2 for 5 with two runs scored for the Ephs, who had six hits in the victory.