Three Ephs earn NFCA All-New England honors

Three Ephs earn NFCA All-New England honors

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Williams College senior outfielder Erica Li and first year pitcher/designated player Mackenzie Murphy were selected as First Team All-New England players for 2016, it was announced Monday by The National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

In addition, sophomore Lexi Curt was chosen as a Second Team selection. 

All three played critical roles in a record-breaking season for the Ephs, who finished 35-11, won their first NESCAC Championship since 2006 and advanced to the seventh and final game of an NCAA Tournament regional before bowing out. 

Among the single-season team records set by the Ephs this year were wins (35); games played (46); at-bats (1334); runs scored (307); hits (446); doubles (84); home runs (36) and RBI (273). 

Li was named the NESCAC's Co-Player of the Year, playing in all 46 games and batting .429 while setting single-season Williams records for GP (46); at-bats (163), runs scored (52); and triples (6). She connected for 70 hits, only the second Williams player to reach that total in a single season, and made just one error all season, albeit playing out of position at catcher. 

"Erica's season is among the best I've seen at Williams by an individual," Ephs' head coach Kris Herman said. "Her offense was remarkable — 70 hits is a tremendous milestone and 23 ahead of her closest teammate on a team full of good hitters. Plus her defense was among the best we saw all year. I think she should be a good candidate for All-American honors."

Murphy became the third rookie in league history to be chosen as NESCAC Pitcher of the Year.

She posted a league-low 2.19 ERA in 118 innings, a 16-3 record and two saves. Her 16 wins ranked second in the conference, while she ranked second with 89 strikeouts. Offensively, Murphy was third in the league with a .465 batting average and  third with 39 RBIs. Her .802 slugging percentage led the Ephs and was second in the NESCAC. Her .518 on-base percentage led the Ephs and was third in the NESCAC. Her seven home runs also led the Ephs. 

"Mackenzie also is notable for great success on both offense and defense," Herman noted. "She

led our team in offensive production in a number of categories and pitched her way to conference pitcher of the year honors. Her humility and knowledge of the game also shone through.

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Curt had a second straight strong season for Williams. The sophomore catcher hit .389 with a .457 on-base percentage and a .657 slugging percentage. She tied senior Tayler Donze with a team-high 11 doubles, knocked out six home runs and drove in 36 runs. 

"Lexi is a great hitter all around and also did a great job behind the plate this year," Herman said "Her love of the game shows on the field and in the dugout and she works hard to make others better as well as improve her own play."