Softball Prepared to Open NCAA Tournament Against Husson Tomorrow

Softball Prepared to Open NCAA Tournament Against Husson Tomorrow

CAMBRIDGE REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL

Cambridge, Mass. (May 9) –
The MIT softball team, which earned the right to host a regional for the second time in as many seasons, is set to open the 2019 NCAA Division III Softball Championship Tournament on Friday, May 10 at 2:30 pm against the Eagles of Husson University. This game will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

MIT vs. the Rest of Cambridge Regional Field: MIT visited Rowan University last season in the first-ever games between the two clubs. Rowan won the first game 3-0, before the Engineers and the Profs ended game two in a 6-6 tie. MIT and Rowan, however, have both advanced to the Division III College World Series twice in the past four seasons coming in 2016 and 2018. The last time MIT faced Eastern Nazarene was in 2001 and the Lions won both matchups.

A Look at the Engineers: MIT enters the NCAA Tournament with a record of 27-10-1 and earned an at-large berth to this year's field. Offensively, the Engineers are powered by junior Michelle Wist (Cypress, Texas) who is batting .357 with a team-high four home runs and 24 RBI. On the base paths, junior Devon Goetz (Rockville, Md.) recently broke the single-season program record for stolen bases and has 26 on 27 attempts this spring. In the circle, senior Ravenne Nasser (Methuen, Mass.) has gone 16-6 in 24 appearances with 18 complete games. The senior has struck out 120 batters and has an ERA of 1.42 over 143 innings.

A Look at the Eagles: Husson enters the NCAA Tournament with a 24-9 record after winning its second-straight North Atlantic Conference (NAC) championship. The Eagles are led by senior Olivia Smith offensively as she sports a .427 batting average with eight home runs and 38 RBI. Senior Arika Brochu was recently named as the program's first NFCA Division III National Player of the Week after hitting .625 with seven runs, two doubles, a homer and two RBI. In the circle, Husson is led by junior Jen Jones who has posted a 13-5 record, has tossed 14 complete games and has registered 128 strikeouts and a 1.59 ERA over 119 innings.

A Look at the Profs: Rowan University, ranked 23rd in the latest NFCA Division III National Poll, enters the weekend with a record of 30-12 and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after the NJAC Tournament was washed out. Offensively, senior Carly Anderson leads the Profs with a .430 batting average and has tallied three home runs and 29 RBI this spring, while freshman Morgan Zane leads Rowan with five homers and 34 RBI. In the circle, juniors Lauren Shannon and Jesse DeDomenico have split pitching duties for the Profs and have a combined record of 27-11 over 248 innings this spring. The duo has struck out 252 batters and has limited batters to a batting average of .166 this year.

A Look at the Lions: Eastern Nazarene College enters the NCAA Tournament with a record of 28-13 after winning its first-ever New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) title. Offensively, the Lions are led by senior Lauren Clements, who has totaled 11 home runs and 42 RBI to go along with a batting average of .465 this season. In the circle, junior Elisabeth Schaffer has gone 24-5 with 27 complete games and 254 strikeouts over 178.1 innings. Schaffer's 24 wins is second-best in Division III only behind two-time National Player of the Year Hanna Hull of Virginia Wesleyan, while her 254 strikeouts are third-best in Division III. 

MIT All-Time in the NCAA Tournament: MIT is 13-9 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and has won a pair of regional crowns and two super regional titles en route two appearances in the Division III College World Series in 2016 and 2018.

Last Season in the NCAA Tournament: In the 2018 NCAA Tournament regional round, MIT no-hit Framingham State in its opener, defeated Tufts, 2-1, in 14 innings, the longest game in program history and claimed its second regional crown with a 7-0 win over the Jumbos. At the Williamstown Super Regional, the Engineers topped the Ephs, 4-2, in game one and, 7-5, in game three to advance to the College World Series where MIT finished seventh overall.

Pitching and Defense: MIT currently sports the nation's second-best fielding percentage at .979. This is tied with the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) and only ranks behind the University of Texas-Tyler which has a fielding percentage of .985. The Engineers have made just 22 errors in their 38 contests and have turned eight double plays. MIT also has the fifth-best team ERA in Division III at 1.45. Nasser and sophomore Colleen Campbell (Snoqualmie, Wash.) currently are tied for 29th in Division III with ERA's of 1.42.

NEWMAC All-Conference Selections: Four Engineers were recently named to the 2019 NEWMAC All-Conference teams. Nasser headlined the selections as she was named as the NEWMAC Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season, becoming the only two-time league Pitcher of the Year in program history. Goetz and Campbell were named to the First Team, while Wist was placed on the Second Team. 

COMPLETE SCHEDULE (DOUBLE ELIMINATION):

Friday, May 10
Game 1 at 12:00 pm: Rowan University vs. Eastern Nazarene College
Game 2 at 2:30 pm: MIT vs. Husson University

Saturday, May 11
Game 3 at 11:00 am: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2
Game 4 at 1:30 pm: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2
Game 5 at 4:00 pm: Winner of Game 4 vs. Loser of Game 3

Sunday, May 12
Game 6 at 12:00 pm: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5
Game 7 at 2:30pm: Winner of Game 6 vs. Loser of Game 6 (If Necessary)

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