Williams College 5, Bridgewater State 1

May 13, 2005

BABSON PARK, Mass. In the opening game of the 2005 NCAA Division III Softball Tournament New England Regional, fourth-seeded Williams College scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull away from fifth-seeded Bridgewater State College, 5-1, at Babson College on Friday morning. Williams (25-12) will now play top-seeded Endicott College at 2 p.m. today, while Bridgewater State (23-16) will face an opponent to be determined at noon on Saturday.

Bridgewater State grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, as senior Natalie Barbanti (Saugus, Mass.) reached on a bunt single, advanced to second on a sacrifice, and scored on a base hit to right by first-year Danielle Trull-Donahue (Norfolk, Mass.). Williams then knotted the game in similar fashion in the bottom of the inning, as sophomore Cathleen Clark (Plymouth, N.H.) recorded a bunt single, was sacrificed to second, and came home on a double to left by junior Alana Frost (Oakland, Calif.).

The Ephs took the lead for good in the bottom of the third, when senior Kerri McMahon (Denville, N.J.) singled to drive in Clark, who had reached on a one-out single and stolen second. Williams then made it 5-1 with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, highlighted by RBI-doubles from senior Mary Baccash (Evanston, Ill.) and first-year Katie Powers (North Reading, Mass.).

Williams junior starter Clara Hard (Seattle, Wash.) settled down nicely to retire nine straight after Trull-Donahues run-scoring single in the first. Hard (13-3) went four innings, allowing one earned run on four hits while striking out four. First-year Margaret Ryan (Clarksburg, N.J.) came on to pitch the final three innings, giving up just one hit while fanning two to earn her first save of the season.

Junior Katie Tauber (Carver, Mass.) took the loss for the Bears, allowing four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. The defeat dropper her season record to 12-8. Clark and Frost each finished with two hits to lead the offense for Williams, while first-year Nicole Hebert (Taunton, Mass.) added two hits for Bridgewater State.

-- Courtesy Babson