Courtesy of Williams Sports Information
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Williams junior Rebecca Duncan pitched a six-hit shutout and drove in both Williams runs with a two-run, first-inning single as the Ephs posted a 2-0 win over Framingham State at the 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament Regional at SUNY Cortland.
Williams improved to 34-5 with the victory and will face St. John Fisher (27-15) in Game 3, Saturday at 11 a.m. The Cardinals bested the hosts, 5-2, in 11 innings on Friday.
The Ephs first inning got started when Mara Kipnis drew a one-out walk on a 3-2 pitch. Mackenzie Murphy then grounded a single up the middle. A wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third. With two outs, Duncan blooped a single to right that scored both runners for the two-run advantage.
The Rams were able to put pressure on Duncan and the Ephs, but never found a way to get a run across, stranding eight runners in the ballgame. In the top of the third, Camille Desrochers singled with two outs and stole second. Mycala Moody drew a walk from Duncan, but the Ephs' righty fanned the next batter to end the threat.
In the fourth, Lauren Salisbury led off for Framingham State with an infield single to the shortstop. Duncan retired the next two hitters but Kaylea Sherman worked a walk. Duncan got out of the jam by inducing a short pop fly to Casey Pelz at third. In the top of the fifth, the Rams' Kirsten Dick led off with a stinging double down the left-field line. But Duncan calmly retired the next three batters, striking out the final hitter she faced to end the frame.
Salisbury led off the Framingham sixth with an infield single off the glove of Pelz, but Duncan fanned the next two batters and ended the inning by inducing a groundout to Pelz at third. Victoria Ziner led off the Rams' final chance in the top of the seventh with a single to center, but Duncan recorded a strikeout, a forceout at second, and then a foul out to Pelz at third to end the game.
Duncan improved to 13-2 with the win, in which she struck out 11 and walked only two. The 11 strikeouts were one off her career best performances, set earlier this season when she hurled a no-hitter at Wesleyan and fanned 12.
The Ephs best chance to add some insurance runs came in the fifth when Pelz led off with a sinking liner to center that went for a double. After an out, Kristina Alvarado laid down a beautiful bunt she beat out for an infield single, sending pinch-runner Azaria Vargas to third. Alvarado stole second, but Framingham hurler Kelsi Gunarathne retired Kim and Kipnis to end the threat.
Gunarathne (15-13) took the loss, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out one. Murphy was 2-for-3 with a run scored for Williams.