TYLER, Tx. -- Wednesday was another day of preparation at the 2019 NCAA Division III national championship for the Williams College softball team, and a busy one at that. Some softball was included, but there was also a barbecue, a community service event, a musical riff-off -- and a lot of dancing.
The championship begins today, with Williams (38-5) facing Texas Lutheran (35-8) at 2:30 p.m. EST in the second game of the first day of the double-elimination tournament.
Wednesday began with a practice, first at the University of Texas-Tyler's Irwin Stadium, home of the baseball team, and then an hour on the game field, Suddenlink Field. From there it was off to a Texas-size barbecue on the UTT campus, where the dancing and singing took over as the Ephs high-stepped it to "Cotton-eyed Joe", Jenny Hickey and Rachel Neugart bellted out "Breaking Free" from High School Musical and the team took on the softballers from Randolph-Macon in a riff-off straight out of the movie "Pitch Perfect".
After a brief, but very entertaining, visit from a recent Tyler Pre-K graduate, Brentley, as the team cooled off on the bus, it was off to Clarkston Elementary School in Tyler, where the team took part in what best can be described as a tag-team relay race game of tag with the school's fifth graders, spoke of their experiences at Williams (name, position and major for most) and autographed team pictures for the students.
Later in the day, the Ephs took part in the NCAA Div. III Tournament National Championship Round Welcome Banquet, with senior co-captain Casey Pelz and sophomore Dacia Green reprising Pelz and alum Brenna Martinez's mad-lib speech from the 2017 championship banquet. The pair brought their A-game to the speech, with the highlight Williams Director of Sports Medecine Rodd Lanoue being labeled "pretty".