By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications, (503) 370-6110
WHITTIER, Calif. -- Williams College (Mass.) defeated Willamette University 6-2 and 10-1 in a softball doubleheader at Whittier College on Saturday, March 23. The second game was won by the Ephs on the run rule in six innings. The Ephs improved to 7-3 on the season, while the Bearcats dropped to 2-17.
In the first game, Mackenzie Murphy of Williams threw a complete game and allowed WU just two hits. In the second game, Rebecca Duncan of Williams gave up no hits in the first four innings, but the Bearcats earned three hits off reliever Emma Corbett.
Kea Gier (Jr., 3B, Kaneohe, HI/Iolani School) registered a hit in both games for Willamette, including a double in the first game. Kilani Fierstos (Fr., 2B, Redmond, OR/Redmond HS) belted a double for the Bearcats in the second game. Mara Kipnis blasted a home run for Williams in each game. Kirstin Mapes also hit a home run for the Ephs in the first game.
Murphy's Pitching, Big First Inning, Lead Williams in Opener
The strong pitching of Murphy and a four-run first inning on offense, helped Williams gain control of the first game. Murphy piled up six strikeouts and did not allow a walk, while limiting Willamette to Gier's double and a single by Vanessa Almaraz (Jr., OF, Simi Valley, CA/Simi Valley HS).
After Murphy faced only three batters in the top of the first, the Ephs scored four runs on three hits in the bottom of the inning. Jessica Kim walked and Kipnis followed with a single to center. Each runner advanced a base on a wild pitch. One out later, Kim scored on a single by Duncan. Mapes batted next and hit a three-run homer to center field.
The Bearcats cut the margin to 4-1 in the top of the second. Almaraz singled to center and went to second when Gier reached base on an error at third. Both runners stole a base, with Almaraz also running home after an errant throw by the catcher.
Kipnis powered a solo homer to left field to start the bottom of the third innings. The score remained 5-1 until the bottom of the sixth, when Duncan was hit by a pitch and Mapes singled down the right field line to begin the stanza. One out later, Jenny Hickey field out to center field, allowing Duncan and pinch-runner Rachel Neguart to advance one base. Riley Salvo was hit by a pitch which loaded the bases. Kristina Alvarado walked to bring home Duncan.
Almaraz of Willamette was hit by a pitch with two outs in the seventh. Gier sent Almaraz around the bases with a double to left field. Gier was caught stealing to end the game.
Mapes was 2 of 3 with her three-run homer. Kipnis was 2 of 3 with a homer and two runs scored. Duncan went 2 for 2 with a double, two runs and an RBI.
Gier, Bishop, Fierstos Earn Hits for Willamette in Second Game
Duncan and Corbett combined for a three-hitter in the second game, while Williams recorded 11 hits on offense. Although the two pitchers for the Ephs were effective, they couldn't keep Fierstos from smacking a double for the Bearcats or prevent Gier and Emily Bishop (Sr., OF, Maple Valley, WA/Tahoma HS/Pierce College) from each earning a single.
The Ephs, who batted first in game two, plated two runs in the first inning and added three in the second for a 5-0 lead. In the first, Kim walked and stole second, before Kipnis hit into a two-base error in the outfield. Kim scored on the play. Kipnis tallied an unearned run on a single by Duncan. In the second, Kipnis drove in all three runs with a double.
Williams maintained its five-run cushion until the top of the fifth. With two outs and two runners on base, Jill Jenkin singled to right field. The ball was misplayed, and Jenkin advanced to third, while Riley Salvo and Gabi Medvene-Cirgli scored.
In the bottom of the fifth Willamette scored. Gier hit an infield single toward third and then went to second when Maya Shipway (Jr., 1B, Bothell, WA/The Bear Creek School) walked. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Gier scored on a ground out by Marley Nicassio (So./Fr., UT, Sacramento, CA/Mira Loma HS). Shipway also was thrown out on the play. Fierstos batted next and doubled to center. Danielle Koontz (So., OF, Cupertino, CA/Monta Vista HS) walked and Bishop singled, but Fierstos was thrown out at the plate.
Williams scored three runs in the sixth inning. One scored on an RBI single by Kim. The other two runs went across the plate on a two-run homer by Kipnis. Willamette was unable to score in the bottom of the sixth, and the game ended on the eight-run rule.
Kipnis was 3 of 4 with a single, a double and a home run, plus two runs and five RBIs. Jenkin went 2 of 2 and scored a run, while Kim was 2 for 3 with three runs and an RBI. Duncan moved to 3-2 with the pitching win.
Big Moment of the Day for Willamette
Kea Gier smacked a run-scoring double in the seventh inning
of the first game. She added a single and scored the Bearcats
only run in the second game.