2017 NCAA Tournament Super Regional | 4 NCAA Tournaments | 3 Conference Championships

NCAA Tournament Super Regional Preview: Softball at No. 19 Williams

NCAA Tournament Super Regional Preview: Softball at No. 19 Williams

NCAA Tournament Super Regional
Softball at No. 19 Williams
Friday, May 19—4 p.m.
Saturday, May 20—1 p.m./3:30 p.m. (if necessary)
Cole Field—Williamstown, Mass.


Babson and Williams have met just twice and will face each other for the first time since March 21, 2007, to begin a best-of-three series on Friday afternoon. The Beavers are 0-2 all-time against the Ephs.

The Beavers dropped their only postseason meeting against Williams, falling 1-0 in eight innings in a winner's bracket game on May 7, 2016, in Babson Park. Katelyn Knox drove in the only run with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth for the Ephs, who limited Babson to just one hit.

The Beavers are making their first NCAA Tournament Super Regionals appearance after winning three straight elimination games to advance out of the Babson Park Regional. Babson is 9-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, which includes a 4-2 mark in one-run games.

The Ephs are making their first trip to the super regionals after sweeping through their regional at home last weekend. Williams, which has hosted 15 NCAA Tournament games over the last four seasons, is 17-12 all-time in the postseason.

NCAA Tournament Appearance: 7th
How they got here: defeated Thomas, 6-2; defeated Staten Island, 6-1; defeated Rensselaer, 1-0

No. 19 Williams (34-10), which captured its second consecutive NESCAC Tournament title back on May 7, enters the weekend as one of the hottest teams in the country having won 27 of their last 28 games going back to April 2. Junior Lexi Curt is batting .404 with 16 doubles, 10 home runs and 36 runs batted in, first-year Rebecca Duncan is hitting .390 with eight doubles, seven homers and 36 runs scored, and sophomore MacKenzie Murphy boasts a a.381 average with 12 doubles, eight homers and 31 RBI. Duncan is 15-4 with a 1.66 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 118.1 innings, while Murphy has gone 11-4 with a 2.56 ERA in 23 appearances. The Ephs are tied for fourth in Division III with 59 home runs on the year.

NCAA Tournament Appearance: 4th
How they got here: defeated Lesley, 4-0; lost to Rowan, 4-3; defeated Framingham State, 1-0 (9 inn.); defeated Rowan, 7-4; defeated Rowan, 3-2

Babson (32-14) captured its first NEWMAC Tournament championship since 2006 on May 6 and has won 12 of its last 14 contests, which includes six consecutive elimination games during the postseason. Sophomore Josephine Mares is batting .373 with 11 extra-base hits and team highs of 16 walks and 23 runs scored, classmate Annie Quine is hitting .345 with eight extra-base hits and 20 runs batted in, and senior Leslie Moore checks in at .343 with seven doubles, three home runs and 23 RBI. First-year Brooke Stock is 16-7 with a 2.53 ERA and 145 strikeouts in 160.1 innings, while junior Ali Reilly has gone 16-7 with a 2.60 ERA, seven shutouts and 119 strikeouts in 161.2 innings. The Beavers rank 11th in Division III with 14 shutouts this spring.

After hitting just four home runs over its first 40 games, Babson has erupted for four bombs over its last six outings. Included in this stretch is a go-ahead grand slam by Quine and a game-winning two-run blast by Moore against Rowan on Monday, as well as first-year Annie Mitchell's first career home run earlier in the regional.

Reilly, who has won seven consecutive decisions, and Stock have allowed just 17 earned runs and own a 1.14 ERA to go along with 102 strikeouts in 104.0 innings over the last 14 games. The duo has also allowed just 68 hits and three home runs during this stretch, and held five regional opponents to just a .203 batting average.

All nine of Babson's starters drove in at least one run and eight different players scored at least one run in five regional games last weekend.

The Beavers are 22-9 away from home this season and have won 10 of their last 11 outside the friendly confines of Alumni Field going back to April 8.

Reilly, who went 4-0 with a 0.56 ERA in last weekend's regional, has moved up to third in program history in shutouts (13), fourth in wins (43) and sixth in strikeouts (302).

The Ephs are 14-0 at home this season, but have been eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by NEWMAC foes in each of the last two seasons. WPI defeated Williams twice in a 2015 regional, while MIT won a pair of games against the Ephs in the 2016 regionals on its way to the College World Series.

The Beavers are 23-3 this season when scoring first and 28-3 when putting up at least three runs.