WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass - The Williams College softball team took a 6-0 win over Bowdoin in the opening game of the NESCAC Championship Tournament.
Williams (23-9) advances to play Tufts Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The Polar Bears (24-13) will face Middlebury in an elimination game Saturday at 10 a.m.
The Ephs broke open a scoreless pitcher's duel between Melissa Della Torre and Williams' Emma Harrington in the bottom of the third. With one out, Williams lead-off batter Alison Michalik lashed a single through the left side. Erica Li followed with a hit and Kacey Cramer loaded the bases with a walk. Ali Graebner launched the grand slam over the left-center fence for the 4-0 lead.
What proved to be Bowdoin's best opportunity to get back into the game came in the top of the fourth when, with two outs, Cielle Collins lined a single to left and took second on a wild pitch. Casey Correa followed up with a walk to put runners on first and second. Harrington got out of the jam by inducing a foul fly ball to left fielder Li off the bat of Marissa O'Toole.
Williams added two runs in the fifth when Graebner singled up the middle with one out and took second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Lindsey Precht lined a shot to straightaway center that just cleared the fence for a two-run homer.
Harrington retired the last 10 batters she faced to improve to 12-5 on the season. Over seven innings, she gave up four hits and two walks while fanning five. Della Torre took the loss, falling to 9-5, giving up seven hits and six runs, while walking one and striking out six over five innings