MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — Junior Kirstin Mapes fired a five-hit shutout Sunday morning as the Williams College softball team posted its 20th straight victory — tying a program record at the school set by the 2006 team — with a 5-0 decision over NESCAC West Division rival Wesleyan University.
The win improved to Williams overall mark to 31-4. The Ephs finished 12-0 in the NESCAC West. It's the third time in program history the Ephs have completed divisional play unbeaten, and the first time since 2006. It is also the first time they've finished divisional play unbeaten since the NESCAC expanded from eight divisional games to 12 games prior to the 2007 season.
The Ephs will next play in the quarterfinals of the 2019 NESCAC Tournament hosted by Tufts University, beginning Friday, May 3rd.
Williams got on the board in the top of the second Sunday when, with one out, Riley Salvo rifled a singled to right and Kristina Alvarado walked. After a fielder's choice grounder erased Salvo at third, Rebecca Duncan came through with a double up the middle to scored Alvarado from second for a 1-0 lead.
The Ephs got things going in the fourth when Alvarado bunted to score Hickey, before touching home on a double down the left line by Kim. Later, with runners on second and third, Wesleyan looked to end the inning on a double play at home after getting the batter out, but Kim's fancy moves evaded the tag at home for a 4-0 lead.
The Cardinals threatened in the fifth when Alyssa DaSilva singled, before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt and later stealing third, but Wesleyan was unable to plate a run, leaving runners on first and third. Williams extended its lead in the seventh when pinch hitter Emma Corbett doubled to right center, driving in Duncan for the 5-0 advantage.
For Mapes, who threw her second consecutive shutout to improve to 7-0 on the season, the biggest troubles came in the first when Wesleyan loaded the bases with one out on an infield single, a single to right and a walk. But Mapes bore down and fanned the next two batters to squash the threat. She wound up allowing five hits over seven innings, walking two and striking out seven.
The Ephs had 10 hits in the victory. Duncan was 3 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored. Alvarado was 1 for 2 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored.