Softball poised for playoff run in 2014

After falling just short of the NESCAC playoffs last year, softball has high expectations with its season kicking off this Saturday. The women will travel to Clermont, Fla., where they face Carleton in their first of 15 games over an eight-day span.

“Overall, the team, which we define as players and coaches alike, is very excited about the season getting underway [this] Saturday in Florida,” Head Coach Kris Herman said.

The Ephs have set their sights high this season after narrowly missing the NESCAC tournament last year. “In 2013, we didn’t make the NESCAC tournament and that is not okay with us,” Herman said. “We’re out to prove a few things to ourselves about winning.”

“Besides winning games, our two main goals are to host and win NESCACs, and win a National Championship,” co-captain Theresa Legan ’14 said.

Legan and co-captain Ali Graebner ’14 provide leadership to a team that lost four seniors to graduation. Legan was named Second Team All-NESCAC last season after leading the team in batting average at .367 and hits with 44, while only striking out eight times in 120 at bats. Graebner led the team with 22 runs last season, adding 15 RBIs and seven doubles.

The four members of the junior class will be a critical part of the Ephs’ lineup this season. Starting pitchers Emma Harrington ’15 and Emalie Rott ’15 will lead the Ephs from the mound, while Lindsey Precht ’15 and Mo Frank ’15 will be key contributors at the plate and in the field.

The team also returns Kacey Cramer ‘16, who last season added a team-high 21 RBIs, and Melissa Cendejas ’16, a reliable fielder who played in every game last season. The sophomore class, the largest on the team, also includes Erica Li ’16, Tayler Donze ’16 and Priscilla Pino ’16.

“We have fifteen capable softball players who are strong and confident, and most can play more than one position well,” Herman said. “I feel great about writing in a strong lineup on the card.”

A strong class of first-years will also add to Williams’ deep roster.

“Our freshman class looks quite promising. I am excited to see their contributions in the field, on the mound and at the plate,” Legan said.

In her 11th season as the Ephs’ head coach, Herman is especially excited about this year’s team. Leading the team as assistant coach is Jackie Zilnicki.

“This group of players worked as hard in the offseason as any I’ve

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worked with in over 25 years of coaching in the NESCAC,” Herman said. “Every player and coach has invested many hours in an effort to make this team

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The women open their season in Clermont, Fla. on Saturday, where they will face a doubleheader against Carleton and Anderson. After a fifteen-game stretch in Florida, Williams returns to New England to face defending National Champions Tufts on April 5. Williams will host its first home game on April 6 in a double-header against Keene St.

“This year we are focusing on working hard, making the reps in practice count and doing all the little things right, so when it’s game time we are fully confident in our preparation and trust that we’ve done everything we could to be successful,”

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Legan said.

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