OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- After a late arrival Monday evening, the Williams College softball team spent Tuesday getting acclimated to its new surroundings in preparation for the 2017 Div. III national championships.
Williams (36-11) will face St. John Fisher (41-6) in its opening game Thursday at 7:30 p.m. EST.
The format is a double elimination tournament that features two pods of four teams. The advancing team from each pod will then meet in a best-of-three game series on May 29-30 to determine the national champion.
In the meantime, the Ephs did manage to get in a practice at Oklahoma City University Tuesday before having a team dinner at Earl's Rib Palace for -- what else? -- some Oklahoma barbeque. After a stop at the Marble Slab Creamery, it was time for a brief team meeting and some down time.
The pace will quicken today as hte Ephs start the morning at the Okalahoma City Food Bank taking part in the community service arranged by the NCAA. Next up is a barbeque pinic/lunch for all teams at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex, and then around 2:30 p.m. local time a practice at those fields before the welcome banquet which begins at 6:30 p.m.
This is the third appearance for the Ephs at the national championships, the previous two occurring in back-to-back seasons in 2005-2006. The 36 wins this season are a new school record, surpassing the 35 of last year.
The current senior class: co-captains Alison Michalik and Dana Cohen along with Brooke Bovier and Ashley Wirth - scheduled to graduate on Sunday, June 4th -- will depart as the all-time winningest class in program history, currently holding a 128-44 (.744) mark. They are the first class in program history to reach the NCAA Tournament all four years at Williams.