ITHACA, N.Y. -- It was either a game-ending two-run double, or a game-saving catch to be remembered.
Williams College senior Jill Jenkin made sure it was the latter, racing over to the left-field line just in front of the warning track and leaping to snare a vicious line drive for the third and final out of the bottom of the seventh, preserving the Ephs 1-0 win over Ithaca College in Game One of the best-of-three NCAA Div. III Tournament Super Regional Friday at Kostrinsky Field.
Williams (37-5) and Ithaca (28-8-1) will play Game Two Saturday at 1 p.m. with the third, if necessary game, to be played at 3:30 p.m.
Duncan was on point in the first game of the super regional, allowing just two hits -- both by Ithaca's Nikkey Skuraton -- while walking only two and striking out five. Both teams left six runners on base, no two more dramatic than those stranded in the Bombers' final at-bat.
Ithaca put the lead-off runner on in the seventh when Hannah Anderson was plunked by a Duncan offering. After a popped up bunt resulted in the first out, pinch-hitter Haley White drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Duncan fanned the next batter on a called third strike to bring up Annie Cooney, the Bomber's center fielder.
Conney, a right-handed batter, ripped the third pitch she saw down the line, easily the hardest fair ball hit off Duncan on the day. With two outs, the runners were off on contact but so was Jenkin, who snared the ball with a leap and an outstretched glove to boot.
While Ithaca had two hits, the Ephs scratched out six off two Bomber pitchers, starter Beth Fleming who went the first five, and reliever Emily Holden, who tossed the final two. Williams lone run came in the third off Fleming. With two outs and nobody on, Mara Kipnis roped a line drive single to left. That brought up Murphy, Monday's heroine in the heartstopping 9-8, nine-inning win over SUNY-Cortland in the Cortland Regional championship game.
Murphy drove a ball deep to right field that landed on the warning track an one-hopped the wall for a double. Kipnis got on her horse and raced around the bases all the way from first, scoring without a throw for a 1-0 lead that would hold up.
Murphy finished the game 2 for 3 with an RBI. Her two hits gave her 201 in her career as she became only the third Eph in history to reach the 200-hit mark. Joey Lye is the all-time leader with 211, and Lexi Curt and Murphy are now tied with 201. Kirstin Mapes was 1 for 2 for the Ephs, while Jessica Kim, Riley Salvo and Kipnis were each 1 for 3. Duncan improved to 15-2 with the win.
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