NCAC Weekly Release (5-1-17) - Softball

Wittenberg Senior Abby Baker
Wittenberg Senior Abby Baker

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The 2017 NCAC Softball Tournament is set for Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, at Wittenberg University. The Tigers earned the right to host the two-day event after winning the NCAC championship for the second time in program history.

As the top seed, Wittenberg (15-1, 29-5) meets fourth-seeded Wooster (10-6, 19-21) in the opening round of the double elimination tournament on Friday at 12:00 PM. Second-seeded DePauw (13-3, 20-18) opens the tournament on Friday morning at 10:00 AM with a showdown against third-seeded Denison (10-6, 26-14).

The double-elimination tournament continues on Friday afternoon with the winners of the days’ first two games squaring off for a slot in the championship round at 2:00 PM, while the losers of the opening-round games will meet on Friday at 4:00 PM in an elimination game, with the winner moving on to face the loser of Friday’s third game at 11:00 AM on Saturday morning to determine the final slot in the championship round. Saturday’s championship round will be played at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM (if necessary).

Since the inception of the NCAC Softball Tournament in the 2001 season, Denison has claimed six tournament titles (2001-02, ‘06, ‘08, ‘10, ‘12). Allegheny is second with four tourney titles (2004-05, ‘07, ‘13), Hiram, DePauw and Wittenberg have each won two titles: Hiram (2009, ‘11), DePauw (2014, ‘15) and Wittenberg (2003, 2016).

ALLEGHENY closed its season by going 3-1 in NCAC play. In their first contests of the week, the Gators swept Kenyon with each game ending 1-0. In their first win, Kala Mahen (Mercer, PA/Lakeview) tossed the first no-hitter for the Gators since 2008. In the their win over Denison, Taylor Massart (Sarver, PA/Freeport) hit a three-run homerun while Mahen picked up her second win of the week.

DENISON clinched the three seed in the upcoming NCAC Tournament by splitting a regular season twinbill against Allegheny. Denison blanked the Gators, 8-0, in game two. Denison is 26-14 and 10-6 in conference play. They will face DePauw in the opening game of the conference tournament on Friday

DEPAUW posted a 5-1 record last week and hit .331 as a team, led by Julia Bork (Park Ridge, IL/Maine Township South) with a .500 average (6-for-12) and Sidney Holler (Overland Park, KS/Shawnee Mission South) followed at .474 (9-for-19) with three homers and 10 RBI. During the Tigers’ four conference games, Holler hit .462 (6-for-13) with three homers and nine RBI. DePauw also posted a 1.52 ERA during the week.

HIRAM completed the 2017 season with four doubleheaders, including earning a split with Oberlin on senior day. In the victory over the Yeowomen, Brittany Zajac (Corry, PA/Corry) posted a pair of RBIs as well as tossing the complete-game victory.

KENYON closed its season with four losses last week as the team was swept by both Allegheny and DePauw. The Ladies finished the year with a 13-27 record and a 5-11 conference mark.

OBERLIN split with Hiram last week to close out the regular season with a 12-28 record. Senior Grace Evans (Arlington, VA/HB Woodlawn) graduates as the all-time leader in hits (141), doubles (33), and career at-bats with 446.

OHIO WESLEYAN closed out the regular season with a 17-18-1 record after posting a 3-2-1 mark last week. The Bishops just missed out on the NCAC Tournament after being swept by Wooster in the final conference series of the year. Junior Erin Ferguson (Greenwich, CT/Greenwich) led OWU at the plate with a .375 batting average, nine RBI and five runs scored.

WITTENBERG, ranked 18th in the most recent NFCA poll, won its second NCAC championship in program history after posting a 15-1 record against league foes and will host the conference tournament this year as defending champions after earning its second tournament championship a year ago. The Tigers will open up tournament play against Wooster, who handed Wittenberg its lone loss in NCAC play this year.

WOOSTER won three of four down the stretch to qualify for its first postseason appearance since 2012, including delivering Wittenberg’s first conference loss of the year. Maddy Chase (Pleasant Prairie, WI/St. Joseph’s) broke the program record for hits in a single season finishing the regular season with 58. The Scots head into the NCAC Tournament after posting the most wins in a year since 2012.