WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Sophomore Jessica Kim did it all for the Williams College softball team on Monday, as she went 4-for-6 at the plate, to go along with two homers, four runs scored and three RBIs, during a two-win day against visiting Tufts University in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
|Jamie Stevens recorded three hits in two games for the Jumbos.|
The first game should definitely be characterized as a pitchers' duel, as the Ephs (20-9, 5-0 in NESCAC West Division) prevailed 3-2 behind a complete-game victory from freshman hurler Rebecca Duncan (9-3).The Simi Valley, California, native quickly found a rhythm, striking out 11 of 30 batters faced, while giving up five hits and two runs.
Junior pitcher Raina Galbiati (6-1) suffered her first loss of the season, but was strong throughout the game, with five strikeouts, while relinquishing six hits and three runs, with two being earned. Senior captain Cassie Ruscz also starred for the Jumbos (14-11, 4-3 in NESCAC East Division), clocking a home run in her fifth consecutive game, as she leads the NESCAC Conference with 10 on the season.
Kim's statistics were beyond impressive, but she also excelled in the clutch, clubbing the game-winning solo shot to left-center with one out in the bottom of the fifth, breaking a 2-2 tie.
The Ephs opened the scoring in the first, squeezing out a run, as sophomore Casey Pelz crossed home plate on a throwing error. Junior Margo Beck struck in the bottom of the fourth, driving a solo shot to left-center, giving the hosts a two-run cushion. The home run was the first of the season for the Plano, Texas, native.
Ruscz, who is on an epic run at the dish, evened the score with one swing of the bat in the fifth, as she clocked a two-out, two-run homer down the left-field line. Junior second baseman Samantha Siciliano crossed home on the blast, as she tallied a one-out single to center.
The Jumbos' momentum was short-lived, as Kim played the role of her in the bottom half of the frame. Duncan was solid down the stretch for the Ephs on the mound, as she retired the side in order during the seventh. She forced Ruscz to ground out to second base, sealing the win.
The Ephs made sure that the second game did not come to the final at-bat, as the squad put on a clinic in the batter's box during a 9-1 triumph in a five-inning game over the Jumbos.
Kim led the charge from an offensive perspective for the Ephs, going 3-for-3 at the plate, totaling three runs scored and two RBIs, to go along with her sixth home run of the season.
Kim posted a leadoff home run to left-center in the first, and then the Ephs added on to their lead with a game-changing, five-run outburst in the second.
In the second, sophomore Alejandra Magana nailed a one-out RBI double to right-center. The hosts drew back-to-back walks, and then Kim stepped foot into the box with the bases loaded. She drove an RBI single down the right-field line, resulting in Magana crossing home and a throwing error allowed senior Alison Michalik to score. The rally concluded with a two-run single up the middle by sophomore Mackenzie Murphy (2-for-3, three RBIs, one run scored), extending the hosts' lead to 6-0.
The early run support was more than enough for senior pitcher Brooke Bovier (2-0), as she pitched five innings, striking out three batters, and allowing one run and five hits. The hosts extended their lead to 9-0 in the fourth behind RBI hits by Murphy, freshman Emma Corbett and Pelz.
The Jumbos needed to score two runs in the top half of the fifth to extend the game, but were only able to earn one, as senior Maggie Hoffman crossed home plate on a one-out single through the left side by freshman third baseman Jamie Stevens.
Ruscz is knocking on the door of a few program records for the Jumbos. She ranks No. 2 with 54 career home runs, which trails first-place Jo Clair (2011-14) by 13. She has the second-most RBIs with 204, which sits 15 behind the top slot, also occupied by Clair. She additonally has 207 career hits, ranking her sixth in program history, and 33 behind first-place Clair.
The Jumbos will try to stop their five-game skid on Wednesday, as the team will make the short journey over to MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for a doubleheader, starting at 3 p.m.
Written by Trevor Wenners, Athletic Communications Intern