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Williams Women's Golf Finishes Second at NCAA Tourney
09:23PM / Friday, May 11, 2018
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HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. – Seventy-two holes and 1,261 shots were not enough to decide the 2018 NCAA DIII Women's Golf Championship. It took 74 holes for Claremont Mudd Scripps to edge the Ephs and claim the championship. 
 
The Williams College women's golf team entered the fourth and final round of the NCAA Tournament in second place and four shots behind Claremont Mudd Scripps.
 
When the final round ended the Ephs had out shot CMS by four shots to tie the tournament after the regulation 72 holes. The NCAA DIII Tournament tiebreaker is that each team sends five players to tee off on the extra hole. The format is the same as the complete tournament. The team with the lowest total on the playoff hole, after the highest score is deducted is the winner.
 
Fitting for such an exciting championship that the Ephs and CMS could not settle matters after one playoff hole so they had to go to a second playoff hole where CMS emerged victorious.
 
Three Ephs were even par on the front nine and two were plus six as they chased CMS and eventually caught CMS. Junior Isabella Wang fashioned her best nine holes of the tournament today on the front nine. Wang bogeyed the first hole and then collected six straight pars, before notching a birdie on the par 3 eighth hole. She finished the day with her best round in the tournament, 79.
 
"I was really proud of the way I bounced back from my first three days and be there for my team today," Wang said. "I played smart and found confidence in my long game but was able to make key up and downs when I needed to." 
 
Seniors Phoebe Mattana and Liz Gudas were even par at the turn as well. Mattana was one over par through eight holes, but she birdied the ninth hole and then she birdied No. 10 to go one under. Mattana finished four over on the day to tie Gudas for the best Eph score in the final round. Gudas' four over came from 13 pars, one birdie and five bogeys.
 
Holly Davenport struggled on the front nine shooting six over par, but she battled back on the last nine and finished the day nine over and at 82. Davenport finished in a tie for 10th place on the individual leader board and earned honorable mention All-America honors.
 
Cori Chan also went six over on the front nine, but she regained her form on the back nine and shot just one over on the final nine holes and ended with an 80 for the round.
 
"What a day today was," Chan said.. "It was a rough week for my ball striking but I think I grinded hard to post a respectable score for the team. It was crazy that the two teams tied after four days of play. The playoff was a great way to finish the week and although it didn't work out in our favor, I'm really proud of how hard our team fought."
 
Williams was seeded fourth going into the tournament and they came within a whisker of winning the tournament by competing on every hole. This year marked the 11th consecutive time the Ephs have played in the NCAA Tournament and they have extended their streak of top five finishes to seven in a row. The Ephs have never finished out of the top ten at the NCAA Tournament.
 
" I couldn't ask more from the team," Williams coach Tom Adalsteinsson said. "They fought so hard today and all week. Clinching the playoff spot for the national title is an experience we will never forget and we will learn so much from this championship. Obviously, we would have liked to win, but we definitely did not lose. CMS played well all week and are well-deserving champions. Congratulations to them, and huge thanks to our seniors, Liz and Phoebe on a phenomenal college career."
 
Adalsteinsson has now guided the Ephs to a fourth and a second place finish at the NCAAs in his two years at the helm. 
 
Next year the Ephs return Chan, Davenport and Wang, but will lose Gudas and Mattana to graduation.
 
Softball
WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. -- Mackenzie Murphy fired a two-hit shutout while Lexi Curt led a 10-hit attack with a home run and double to propel the Williams College softball team past Husson University, 6-0, in Game 2 of the NCAA Div. III Tournament Williamstown Regional Friday afternoon at Cole Field.
 
Williams (36-6) advanced to Game 3 Saturday at 11 a.m. against familiar foe Amherst (28-6), which defeated Western New England, 2-0, in Game 1 of the Regional Friday. Husson (21-14) is scheduled to play WNE (24-17) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in an elimination game. 
 
Curt, named the NESCAC Player of the Year Thursday, opened the scoring with a long solo home run to center field in the bottom of the first, giving the Ephs a 1-0 advantage. The Ephs added a single tally in the second when Margo Beck led off with a sinking drive to right that landed safely and bounded by the diving field for a triple. She scored two batters later when Casey Pelz ripped a liner off the top of the glove of the leaping Eagles' shortstop, Chloe Gorey. 
 
The Ephs' kept their attack going in the third. Curt led off with a deep drive to left that put a dent in the top of the left field fence. She survived a collision with the Eagle first baseman to reach second on a double. One out later, Kirstin Mapes ripped a single into left to score Curt for a 3-0 lead. After Rebecca Duncan walked, Beck flew out for the second out, but Brenna Martinez drove a shot into the left-field gap to score pinch-runner Kristina Alvarado and up the Williams lead to 4-0.
 
In the meantime, Murphy retired 10 straight Eagles at one point, letting her defense do a lot of the work. Beck came up with a diving, rolling grab in right to save a hot, and Alvarado ran down a couple of deep flies in the gaps for outs. Murphy helped herself as well from the circle, making a couple of athletic plays.
 
The Ephs added a run in the fourth on an RBI-single from Alvarado and a run in the sixth on an RBI-triple to right off the bat of Murphy. The Ephs set a new school record for runs scored in the season, upping their total to 313. The previous mark was 307 set by the 2016 team. 
 
Murphy improved to 15-1 on the season by allowing just the two hits over seven innings. She did not walk a batter and struck out two. Curt was 2 for 3 with an RBI and run scored. Beck was 2 for 3 with a run scored. 
 
Jen Jones took the loss for the Eagles. She went six, allowing 10 hits and four walks and did not strike out a batter. Gorey and Tamara Aunchman had the Husson hits. 
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