2015 NCAA Softball Tournament
Williamstown, MA Regional
Friday May 8 through Sunday May 10
ALL GAMES WILL BE WEBCAST
CLICK THIS LINK TO WATCH
WPI 2, WNE 0
Williams 10, MCLA 0, 5 inn.
WPI 2, Williams 1, 8 inn.
WNE 3, MCLA 1
Williams 1, WNE 0
WPI (34-9) 4 vs. Williams 0 (32-9)
The Williams College softball team was awarded an at-large berth into the 2015 NCAA Div. III Tournament Monday and will host the four-team Williamstown Regional at Cole Field, Friday through Sunday, May 8-10.
Ticket prices are as follows: Adult – $5; Student – $3; Senior Citizen/Veteran – $3; and children under 12 – $2. Children age 2 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.
A Look at the teams:
WPI enters the Williamstown Regional 31-9 on the season. The win total not only in the most in program history, it is the most registered by any team sport in the over 100-year history of WPI Athletics
The Engineers are making their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Crimson and Gray captured the 1991 NEW-8 (predecessor to the NEWMAC) regular season and tournament titles but before the era of the automatic qualifier and was not selected to the NCAA Tournament. This NCAA Tournament appearance is the first by a WPI women's team sport since Women's Basketball in 1996.
Nina Murphy-Cook is WPI's third NEWMAC Rookie of the Year in the last 10 years. The leftfield/second baseman currently leads Division III with 51 stolen bases. Fellow rookie Ama Biney had a 31-game hitting streak snapped Sunday during the NEWMAC Tournament championship round. A two-sport athlete, Biney also excelled for WPI in basketball this winter.
The senior class of Katie Bumila, Amanda Pierce and Chiana Montesi have a record 96 wins, including the three most in school history (24 in 2012 under George LeGacy, 30 in 2014 and 31 in 2015)
WPI Head Coach Whitney Goldstein has amassed 61 victories in the past years on Boynton. No stranger to Williamstown, Goldstein was an assistant and interim head coach at NESCAC-rival Amherst for three years.
Western New England enters the Williamstown Regional 29-7. During the Golden Bears' season-best 10-game winning streak entering the NCAAs, the team is outscoring the opposition 63-28. Western New England hasn't lost since a 12-4 setback in six innings to CCC foe Salve Regina on April 18 and has not lost two in a row since March.
The Golden Bears enter the first NCAA tournament since 2006 and sixth in school history (2002-06, 2015). The Golden Bears are 8-9 all-time in NCAA tournament play. The program's best finish occurred in 2003 when it advanced to the Division III World and finished eighth in Salem, Va., that season. At .471, the Golden Bears have the best winning percentage among current CCC members.
The Golden Bears and WPI have met only once before on April 10, 1981, with WNE taking an 11-6 home win. Western New England is 9-9 all-time against Williams, including a 4-3 mark in Williamstown, and owns a commanding 16-4 lead over MCLA.
Top-seeded Western New England defeated defending champion and No. 3 seed Endicott, 4-1, before the largest crowd ever at Golden Bear Park on Saturday. Western New England captured its first CCC championship since joining the league in 2008,
CCC Pitcher of the Year Lauren Zambrano was joined on the first unit by fellow senior second baseman Samantha Mulhern, junior first baseman Heather Fecteau and junior outfielder Alexis Bukowski. In addition, senior Grace Kucharski made the second team as a designated player and junior Heidi Grieger was named a third-team pitcher.
In her 19th season at the helm of her alma mater, head coach Lori Mayhew owns a school and overall record of 494-266-2 for a .650 winning percentage--the best mark for any head coach in any sport in WNE Athletics history. She has led the program to six conference championships, including five in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference from 2002-06.
MCLA is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1995 after capturing its first MASCAC title ever. The Trailblazers are 15-20 entering the Williamstown Regional, but finished the season strong going 11-7 and are 7-4 on the road this season.
MCLA junior Rachel Quackenbush tossed a complete game shutout and helped her cause by drilling a two run homer in the first inning to lead the Trailblazers past Salem State 6-0 in the 2015 MASCAC Softball Championship game held on the campus of Worcester State University.
MCLA has been fueled by starting pitcher Quackenbush, who is the most prolific pitcher in the programs' history and in her last two seasons she has tossed 28 complete games, struck out 370 batters in 267 innings and posted a 1.62 ERA.
This season Quackenbush is 10-8 with three saves and a 1.36 ERA with 172 Ks in 13 2/3 innings.
The Trailblazers are balanced at the dish as a quintet of ladies bat between .290 and .330. Center-fielder Michaela DiNicola a contact hitter leads the team at .333 and reaches base overall at a .409 clip. Utility player Amanda Meczywor and Quackenbush supply a little pop. The duo has combined for 27 extra-base hits on the season. Abigail Lucas (.297) and Angelica Perfido (.292) have also been consistent hitting just below .300 on the season.
The Ephs enter the Williamstown Regional with a 30-7 mark. This is the 5th NCAA Tournament appearance for Williams, and its second straight. The previous time the Ephs earned back-to-back NCAA appearances was 2005-06.
This is the third time in history the Ephs have reached the 30-win mark the other times coming in 2004 and 2006. Last week, Williams reached the championship round of the 2015 NESCAC Tournament with wins over Bowdoin and Middlebury, but lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Tufts.
Earlier this season, Eph head coach Kris Herman won her 600th game in the 28th season (her 12th season at Williams the previous 16 were spent at Tufts.) She is currently 614-247-5 (.712 winning percentage.).
The Ephs had four players earn All-NESCAC honors in 2015: Senior centerfielder Mo Frank, sophomore pitcher Brooke Bovier and sophomore shortstop Alison Michalik were First Team All-NESCAC selections, while first year catcher/designated player Lexi Curt was a Second Team All-NESCAC selection.
Frank is currently batting a robust .466, topping the team in that category and placing second in the conference. Her 55 hits this season are tied for 6th-best for a single season in program history. She has an on-base percentage of .523 and has stolen nine bases in 10 attempts. Frank is third on the team with 66 total bases, which includes five doubles and three triples. She's also knocked home 15 runs and scored 28.
Michalik (is batting .394 with a .412 OBP and leads the Ephs with 34 runs scored, 4th-best in the NESCAC. Michalik has a .947 fielding percentage at shortstop. Bovier (Port Orange, Fla.) has had a strong sophomore campaign and is currently 15-3 with a 1.53 ERA. She leads the Ephs with 119 innings pitched, and has allowed just 87 hits and 42 walks while striking out 86. In 14 starts, she has 10 complete games.
Curt (Moorpark, CA) leads the team in doubles (9), home runs (7), and runs batted in (38). Her .591 slugginer percentage is second the team. She is hitting .330 this season to date. Junior third baseman Kacey Cramer is batting .305 with 33 RBI, second on the team.