Williamstown, Mass. – The Williams College Ephs used a seven run fourth inning to pull away from the Trinity College Bantams and win, 10-2, in game one of the 2016 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Softball Championship Tournament hosted by the Ephs. Trinity will play in the first game tomorrow morning, an elimination game, against the loser of today's second game between the Tufts Jumbos and Amherst Purple & White.
Junior Brooke Bovier (Port Orange, Fla.) went the distance for Williams, allowing just two runs, both solo homeruns, and struck out five. Sophomore Rachael Smith (Winchester, Mass.) got the start in the circle for the Bantams and went 3.2 innings with six earned runs and two strike outs. Senior Erica Li (Salt Lake City, Utah) led the way for the Eph offense as she went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Lexi Curt (Moorpark, Calif.) and Kacey Cramer (Houston, Texas) chipped in two RBIs each for Williams while the pair of Trinity runs came via solo blasts from freshman catcher Nicole Towner (Erie, Colo.) and freshman shortstop Courtney Erickson (Everett, Mass.).
Sophomore Erica Merullo (Lynnfield, Mass.) reached base to lead things off for Trinity after hitting a rocket to second base that was misplayed by the Ephs. Bovier retired the next three batters to strand Merullo at third and keep Trinity off the scoreboard to start the game. In the home half, Williams put a pair of runners on but Smith also did her part in keeping the game at zeros after one.
After throwing a runner out at second in the bottom of the first, Towner put Trinity up, 1-0, with a solo homerun to deep left-centerfield to lead off the top of the second. Sophomore Katie Haghdan (Pelham, N.H.) followed with a double to right-centerfield but was left on second to end the inning. The Ephs responded with three runs in the bottom half thanks to an RBI bunt single by Taylor Donze (South Hadley, Mass.) followed by a bases loaded, two-RBI single by Curt.
Merullo and senior Elizabeth McQuaid (Lowell, Mass.) drew back-to-back walks to start the top of the third but the Ephs turned a rare triple-play on a hard hit line drive by senior co-captain Erica Quinones (Trumbull, Conn.) to end the threat.
Erickson's solo shot in the top of the fourth cut the deficit to one but after a double from sophmore Meaghan Race (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Bouvier retired the side to preserve the one-run lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Li added to the Eph lead when she crossed home on a Trinity dropped third strike. Cramer drove home two on a two out, two-run double before Li came back up to the plate and knocked a triple that cleared the bases and gave Williams a 10-2 lead. The Bantams got two runners on in the top of the fifth but Bouvier shut the door to end the game.