Softball Falls to Amherst on Final Day of NESCAC Championship

More photos at www.CIPhotography.com
More photos at www.CIPhotography.com

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Williams College softball team claimed its second consecutive NESCAC Championship, and fifth overall, with a convincing 9-1 victory over Amherst in the final game of the conference championship tournament on Sunday at Pickard Field.

The Ephs (31-10) earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Amherst (28-10) and Bowdoin (28-10) will hope to receive at-large bids when selections are announced on Monday.

Game 5 - Amherst 3, Bowdoin 1
Amherst scored three unearned runs in the sixth inning to come back to defeat Bowdoin, 3-1, to advance to the final round of the NESCAC Championship on Sunday morning.

Game Highlights

  • The Polar Bears got on the board first in the top of the third inning as Ali Miller came home on a run-scoring single from Caroline Rice.
  • Bowdoin had multiple chances to add to their lead, including in the fourth, when Miller singled to right field with runners on first and second. Amherst right fielder Andrea Sanders cut down Lauren O'Shea at the plate, however, preserving the one-run deficit.
  • Amherst's game-winning rally came with two outs as, with runners on first and second, Alena Marovitz reached on an error to load the bases. The very next batter - Sanders - ripped a liner to the gap in right-center, clearing the bases and giving Amherst the 3-1 lead.
  • Bowdoin went down 1-2-3 in the seventh as pitcher Gina Pagan (17-4) finished off the complete game victory, scattering eight hits and ending with five strikeouts. Sanders and Kyra Naftel had two hits each for the Mammoths.
  • Emily Griffin (13-4) took the tough-luck loss, permitting six hits and no earned runs over six frames with three strikeouts. She also had two hits in the game along with Miller and O'Shea.

Game 6 - Williams 9, Amherst 1 (5 inn.)
Williams put an exclamation point on their undefeated weekend with a 9-1 victory over Amherst to clinch the 2017 New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship. The Ephs finished 3-0 on the weekend, winning their last two games by a combined score of 17-3.

Game Highlights

  • The Ephs scored in every inning en route to the championship, highlighted by a four-run second and a three-run fourth.
  • Up 1-0 thanks to a Mackenzie Murphy RBI single entering the second inning, Kristina Alvarado blasted a three-run home run to left field in the second frame to give Williams a 4-0 lead. Two batters later, Lexi Curt brought home Jessica Kim to make it 6-0.
  • After Williams padded their lead with an unearned run in the third, Amherst chipped away with a sacrifice fly by Kate Kopatic that scored Lauren Tuiskula to make it 6-1.
  • Williams put the game out of reach in the fourth, when Curt led off with a solo shot to deep center and Casey Pelz sliced a two-run single to right, giving the Ephs a 9-1 advantage.
  • Murphy (10-4) closed out the game without incident in the top of the fifth to seal the victory for Williams. She allowed just three hits and one earned run to garner the victory. Pelz led Williams at the plate with three hits.
  • Lauren Tuiskula (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing five earned runs over 1.1 innings of work for Amherst. She, Kopatic and Annie Murphy had one hit each for the Mammoths.