WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Freshman standout Danielle Rinaldi blasted her first career home run for the Wesleyan University softball team in the fifth inning during an 11-3 setback in five innings to No. 16-ranked Williams on Sunday afternoon, as the Ephs took complete control of the game with a seven-run effort in the second at Cole Field in Williamstown, Mass.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Ephs (18-4, 5-1 NESCAC West Division) took an early 3-0 advantage in the bottom of the first behind a trio of solo home runs, coming off the bats of senior Lexi Curt, and sophomores Rebecca Duncan and Kirstin Mapes.
- Wesleyan (8-12, 0-5 NESCAC West Division) jumped on the board in the second with an unearned run on an RBI ground out to second by freshman Brenna Monroe, scoring senior captain Rielly Wieners from third. Wieners led off the inning, and reached on a fielding error. She advanced to second on a single from freshman Marina Williams, and then took third on a ground out to the pitcher by freshman Lauren Gaffney-Gomez.
- Williams fired back with seven runs in the bottom of second – all of which were earned – as the push was highlighted by two-run singles off the bats of junior Mackenzie Murphy and senior Brenna Martinez.
- With two down in the top half of the fifth, the Cardinals were facing a 10-1 deficit, and senior captain Julie McDonald singled through the left side. Rinaldi then cleared the left-field fence with a two-run shot, trimming the deficit to 10-3.
- In the bottom of the fifth, a sacrifice fly to right by Mapes, scored Curt and invoked the eight-run mercy rule after 4 2/3 innings of action.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Rinaldi went 1-for-2 with a homer, two RBIs and a run for the visitors, while freshman Maria Noto was strong in relief, giving up only one earned run and two hits in three innings against a highly-talented Williams' lineup. The New Lisbon, N.Y. native tallied a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth.
- Gaffney-Gomez (1-1) suffered the loss for Wesleyan. Murphy (7-0) collected the win for the Ephs on the hill, giving up two earned runs on four hits in five innings. She struck out two batters and walked one, while retiring the side in order during the first and fourth innings.
- Murphy also led the charge in the batting order for the Ephs, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run, while sophomore Riley Salvo went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run for the hosts.
- Williams held a 12-4 lead in hits, and the Ephs were called for two errors, and Wesleyan was ticketed with one. Wesleyan left four batters on the base path, and Williams stranded six during the course of the game.
- The Cardinals will return to the Wesleyan Softball Field for a doubleheader against Trinity on Tuesday, starting at 3 p.m.