Softball Is Walked off Twice by Williams Then Walks Off Hamilton on Sunday

By LAUREN BOYD

The softball team was swept by Williams in Williamstown last weekend, despite two close games that made for exciting and intense affairs.

The Ephs took the first game of the series last Friday, 7–6, despite holding a five-run lead after the Panthers’ half of the fourth.
“We had a rhythm going after the first few innings,” said senior captain Kati Daczkowski ’18. “We felt good, and our team was working really well as a unit.”

Taylor Gardner ’18 got off to a hot start, as she homered to left in her first at-bat in the second inning to give Middlebury a 3–0 lead. It was Garner’s first homer of the season and could not have come at a better time for the Panthers.

Ali Della Volpe ’18 and Olivia Bravo ’20 both singled in the top half of the fourth, putting the Panthers up 5–0. However, the Ephs closed the gap in the bottom half of the inning, as Irene Margiotta ’19 gave up a grand slam to make it 5–4.

By the end of the sixth, after a lead change and a few good pieces of hitting, things were tied at six. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Ephs put runners in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh, and Williams set themselves up for a walk-off hit to take game one 7–6.

In the second game, the Ephs took the win over Middlebury in five innings thanks to the mercy rule, 9–0. The Panthers walked into the third game hoping to get out of town with at least one victory against the No. 19 team in the country.

Again, the Panthers took the lead, 2–0, in the first innings of the game. Senior captain Allison Quigley ’18 started off the scoring with a solo home run. Melanie Mandell ‘20 followed Quigley’s lead with a solo shot of her own. However, Williams would win 3–2, as Rebecca Duncan drove in the game-winning run for the second time in three days. Duncan also homered in the bottom of the sixth in the series’ final game.

“It’s always hard to lose to conference opponents,” Daczkowski said. “We just have to continue to improve and win.”

Following the losses to Williams, the Panthers came out on top in a close battle in a rescheduled game (from Saturday, April 14) against Hamilton, 2–1, in extra innings. This win completed their three-game season sweep of Hamilton, which puts the Panthers in a good position for a spot in the conference playoffs.

Last Sunday it was the Panthers’ turn to win in walk-off fashion, as Liza Tarr ’19 stepped up to bat with the game tied and Quigley on base. Tarr connected for a base hit to send Quigley home, winning the game for the Panthers.

After midweek action against Rensselaer and St. Joseph, the Panthers will host Wesleyan starting tomorrow afternoon for a three-game set to end the regular season.

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Softball Is Walked off Twice by Williams Then Walks Off Hamilton on Sunday