TYLER, TX. -- Texas Lutheran (35-8) will provide a stern test for the Williams College softball team (38-5) when the 2019 NCAA Div. III national championship round opens today at the University of Texas-Tyler's Suddenlink Field at 2:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs like to put pressure on opposing defenses, which is what 180 stolen bases in 197 attempts will do. They have a team batting average of .365 and have produced 310 runs to date in their 43 games. The offense is sparked by Golden Shoe winner Kelly Jurden, who leads the team with a .473 batting average and has set a new-school record for stolen bases in a single season with 55.
Kayla Oliveira took over the No. 1 pitcher's spot from Jordaine Bishop when the latter was injured. Oliveira started the year 1-2, but she is 14-1 since. Bishop came back for the postseason and has performed at a high level as well. In addition, Chassety Raines is 8-0 with a 0.99 ERA over 49-plus innings this season.
Madisyn Cates leads the Bulldogs with 31 RBI. She's hitting .363 with eight doubles and a home run. Casey Martin is hitting .446 with 30 RBI while Cassie Roche is batting .323 with a team-leading six home runs and 29 RBI.
The Ephs come in having won 27 of 28. The team batting average is .303 and its on-base percentage .385. Junior Rebecca Duncan leads the team with a .368 average, three home runs and 25 RBI while going 15-2 with a 1.75 ERA to date. Senior Mackenzie Murphy is hitting .336 with six home runs and a team-high 33 RBI. First-year Mara Kipnis is batting .367 with a team-high seven home runs and 28 RBI. Junior Kirstin Mapes is batting .311 with six home runs and 26 RBI. Senior shortstop Jessica Kim is hitting .352 with a team-high 14 doubles and 44 runs scored.
Mapes is 9-0 in the circle with a 1.87 ERA while Murphy is 12-3 with a 2.27 ERA.