WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — The two-time defending champion Williams College softball team will be part of an eight-team, single-elimination field for the first time at the 2018 New England Small College Athletic Conference Tournament this weekend on the Amherst College campus.
The Ephs have won the last two NESCAC titles and are the No. 2 team coming out of the NESCAC's West Division. They will face Trinity, the No. 3 team out of the East Division, Saturday at 12 p.m.
The two teams are scheduled to play in Game 4 on Saturday, May 5. The Ephs are the two-time defending champions and have won five NESCAC crowns overall. Williams returns to the NESCAC Championship for the fifth season in a row and has played in the championship game four straight years. The Ephs enter the tournament having won 11 straight games and set a school mark for most regular-season victories (32). Williams leads the league in home runs (55) and doubles (88) and has scored a conference-best 290 runs this season. Junior Mackenzie Murphy (Diablo, Calif.) (.467) and senior Lexi Curt (Moorpark, Calif.) (.449), the all-time hits leader at Williams, rank 1-2 in the league in hitting. Curt also leads the NESCAC in homers (12) and RBIs (40). Sophomore Rebecca Duncan (Simi Valley, Calif.) owns the best ERA among the Williams pitchers at 1.68. She has worked 100 innings and registered 112 strikeouts and 13 wins in 12 complete games. Murphy is 13-1 in the circle and owns a 1.98 ERA.
Trinity is in the tournament for the third straight year. The Bantams, who have won five of their last seven, are tied for the league-lead in triples (11). Junior Courtney Erickson (Everett, Mass.) leads the team in hitting with a .364 average, 26 RBIs and 23 runs scored. The Bantams have relied on the arm of senior Rachel Smith (Winchester, Mass.) this season. She owns a 2.98 ERA and worked 103.1 innings, while registering 70 strikeouts and picking up 10 victories.
Williams has a 5-2 advantage over Trinity in the NESCAC Championship series. The two teams met last year in Game 1 with the Ephs winning, 3-2, in extra innings.
The field features nationally ranked Tufts (No. 15), Williams (No. 22) and Amherst (No. 25) and also includes Bowdoin, which is ranked No. 7 in the latest New England regional poll.