5 Ephs earn All-NESCAC accolades

5 Ephs earn All-NESCAC accolades

HADLEY, MA — Five members of the 2019 Williams College softball team received  end-of-the-season honors handed out by the New England Small College Athletic Conference Thursday. 

The All-NESCAC selections and major awards are voted on by the conference's softball coaches.

2019 All-NESCAC Softball Teams

Williams senior shortstop Jessica Kim (Tustin, CA) was selected the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year while first year Mara Kipnis (Redmond, WA) was chosen as the NESCAC Rookie of the Year. Kim, junior P/UTL Rebecca Duncan (Simi Valley, CA) and junior P/UTL Kirstin Mapes (Corona, CA) were First Team All-Conference selections, while senior Mackenzie Murphy (Diablo, CA) was selected as a Second Team All-NESCAC selection. 

"We have a team of great softball players and an even greater team," Eohs' head coach Kris Herman said. "Becca, Mara, Jess, Kirstin and Mackenzie have had strong seasons all around and we are proud to be represented by them. Mara has been a force at the plate all year and it's great to have her get the recognition in her rookie season. I'm excited to work with her for a few more years. Jessica is one of the best infielders i've ever coached and has had an amazing senior season so far. She's a joy to watch, makes our team better and is truly an anchor and leader from that spot on the field. 
Kim is the first Eph to receive the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year honor since its inception in 2009. The shortstop has made two errors in 158 chances in the infield and carries a .987 fielding percentage into the NCAA Tournament, as the Ephs were an at-large selection after reaching the NESCAC Championship game. The Ephs are the top seed at the Cortland, N.Y. Regional and will face MASCAC champion Framingham State Friday at 3:30 p.m. Kim is also hitting .338 and slugging .515 for Williams and leads the NESCAC in runs scored (43). Kipnis of Williams is the NESCAC Rookie of the Year. She is the fourth Eph to earn the accolade and the second Williams player in three years to garner the honor. Other Ephs to be named Rookie of the Year include Alana Frost (2003), Cedar Blazek (2010), and current teammate Rebecca Duncan (2017). Kipnis leads the NESCAC in home runs (7) and has driven in 26 RBIs while hitting .387 and slugging .747.
Duncan, the 2018 NESCAC Pitcher of the Year last season and the 2017 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, is a First Team selection for the third consecutive season. Duncan has 12 wins this season and has pitched eight complete games. She owns a 2.00 ERA with 61 strikeouts while hitting .366 at the plate. Mapes, a Second Team selection last year, is hitting .328 and has totaled 23 RBI for the Ephs along with six home runs. She is 8-0 with a 1.62 ERA, which is good for second-best in the NESCAC. Murphy was a First Team selection last season. She is currently 11-3 with a 1.85 ERA from the circle while batting .302 with 5 home runs and 25 RBI, second on the team behind Kipnis. 
"Our pitching staff is amazing," Herman said. "To have three pitchers all on the all-conference team shows how lucky we are. In addition to being great defensive players — both on the mound and other positions on the field — all three of these players have been a force at the plate, too. Kirstin has grown so much and her stats make her among the premier players in the league. Becca has played multiple positions and is a go-to in many ways. Mackenzie is a rock and has been at her best in big situations this season. It's my privilege to work alongside each of these kids."
Williams is currently 33-5. The Ephs finished 12-0 to capture the NESCAC West title, won the Little 3 title and had a 22-game winning streak, breaking the program record of 20 straight wins set by the 2006 team. They advanced to the championship game of the NESCAC Tournament, where they fell 3-2 to Tufts. 




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