HELENA — A career day from Ali Williams powered the Carroll College softball team in Game 1, and then the Saints showed their depth in Game 2 as they picked up two wins against Northwest University on Friday at Northwest Park.
“We gutted two out today,” coach Aaron Jackson said. “This is the start of the second half this week. Just needed to grind two out and we did that. I’m proud of our team for that.”
The Saints (25-12, 12-7) picked up their 25th win, which is a school record.
Williams struck out a school record 12 batters as the Saints grabbed a 5-1 win in the series opener.
“It just ended up being my day,” Williams said.
Williams started the first game striking out the side, and picked up eight strikeouts through three innings. The sophomore from Kalispell said her start could have been better, too.
“Both (fellow pitcher) Tess (Eaton) and I were pretty cold,” Williams said. “It was just trying to feel it out. I felt pretty good, pretty on with almost everything I guess today.”
While Williams dealt, Kendall Mooney hit a three-run double in the second to give the Saints a 3-0 lead.
Then, Williams got her bat involved. Williams cranked a two-run home run in the bottom of the third, and the Saints were rolling, 5-0.
Williams finished the game 2-for-3 alongside Allison Bayer and Kendall Mooney who also led the Saints in the box with a 2-for-3 efforts.
Northwest picked up its first run in the top of the fourth, but Carroll would hang on for a 5-1 win.
Northwest struck first in Game 2, drawing a run at the top of the first inning.
Carroll immediately answered with a two-run double from Allison Bayer.
Northwest knotted it up with another run in the third, but Carroll again answered.
The Saints scored two more runs in the bottom of the third when Williams singled and a throwing error brought two runners across the plate.
Jackson switched Tess Eaton (11-0) out of the circle in the fourth inning, breaking in Brooke Brown.
“Switched things up on the mound and I thought Brooke Brown came in and gave us the spark we needed,” Jackson said. “Our offense continued to produce. Anytime you can trade two for one and get a couple back is always good.”
Carroll sprinkled a run in the fourth and fifth inning thanks to a run-scoring double by Mooney and an RBI single by Brittany Hogan.
Carroll led 6-2 entering the seventh inning and after two runs by Northwest held on for a 6-4 win a a sweep on the day.
Carroll once again returned to Northwest Park after snow damped the fields at Centennial Park.
Carroll concludes its series with Northwest on Saturday.
“We have to finish the series tomorrow,” Jackson said. “We gotta get some people some innings. That takes our kids that are playing every day that motivation to get their teammates some innings. What’s what we’re about: Doing something for your teammates. Whether it’s getting them an at bat, a start, or an inning or two.”