WILLIAMSTOWN >> Twelve months after winning the first NCAA Division III title in school history, the Williams College women's golf team will defend its crown this weekend.
The Ephs will head for the Bay Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas, as one of 21 teams competing for the title.
"We are very excited about the opportunity to participate and represent our golf program in the NCAAs," interim head coach Bill Kangas said in a release. "We expect the championship to be extremely competitive and the course challenging."
Williams returns three of the five players who were competing in Florida last year. Juniors Tracey Kim and Sophie Kitchen and sophomore Phoebe Mattana will compete for a second year, and will be joined by sophomore Liz Gudas and freshman Cordelia Chan.
Kitchen, who averaged 79.58 strokes per 18 holes this year, was third overall in last year's tournament.
HADLEY >> Cole Field in Williamstown will be the center of the NESCAC softball universe this weekend, as Williams will host the postseason tournament.
The Ephs (29-8, 10-2 in NESCAC West) clinched the West Division title by sweeping three games from Middlebury last weekend, and since this is a year when the West Division is the tourney host, will have three other teams visiting. The winner earns NESCAC's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Play begins Friday at 2:30 p.m., when Williams plays East Division runner-up Trinity (18-12, 6-6). In the second game, East Division champion Tufts (25-8, 12-0) will be looking for its fifth consecutive championship, and will open against West runner-up Amherst (23-10, 7-5).
Amherst is coached by Jessica Johnson, a former Mount Greylock softball standout.
The semifinal round will be played on Saturday, with the championship game scheduled for Sunday.
NESCAC MEN'S LACROSSE
HADLEY >> After scoring a 11-10 upset win over second-seeded Amherst in the first round of the NESCAC men's lacrosse tournament, Williams vaulted into the national Division III Top 20 and into the tournament semifinals.
The Ephs, ranked 20th in this week's U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association national Division III poll, will take their No. 7 seed in the NESCAC Tournament to Medford this weekend and a semifinal date against top-seeded Tufts. It'll be the first game of a doubleheader at Tufts, starting at noon.
The Jumbos (14-2) are No. 5 in the country and No. 2 in the North Region. Tufts reached the semifinals with a 16-10 win over eighth-seeded Connecticut College.
In the second semifinal, third-seeded Bowdoin (12-4) will play No. 4 Middlebury (11-5). That game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.
The championship game, hosted by Tufts, will be Sunday at noon.
WESTFIELD >> MCLA won a tiebreaker over Framingham State to earn the sixth, and final spot in the MASCAC postseason playoffs.
MCLA will open the tournament on Thursday with a road game at Westfield State. The Trailblazers are the sixth seed and Westfield is No. 3. Game time on Thursday is 3:30 p.m. The winner will play at No. 2 Bridgewater State on Friday in the double-elimination portion of the tournament.
Worcester State is the No. 1 seed, and will host the winner of the game between fourth-seeded Fitchburg State and No. 5 Salem State.
The semifinals and final will be played at Worcester State this weekend.
HADLEY >> For the third time this year, Willliams freshman Mackenzie Murphy is the conference's pitcher of the week. She is joined on the honor roll by Eph baseball pitcher Tyler Duff.
Murphy follows up last week's player-of-the-week award by going 2-0 with a 1.35 earned-run average in two starts. The freshman from Diablo, Calif., allowed five hits in 10 1/3 innings. Murphy tossed a nine-inning complete game in a 3-2 win in the opener. She won the game with her leadoff, walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth. Murphy also earned the win in Friday's 4-3 walkoff win, pitching the final 1 1/3 innings.
Duff, a junior pitcher from Orefield, Pa., gave up a leadoff single in Williams' 3-0 win over Hamilton on Saturday, and then retired the next 21 batters in the game. He struck out six.
Duff is now 2-2 and has an ERA of 3.70.
KINNE WRAPS UP COLUMBIA CAREER
NEW YORK >> Great Barrington's John Kinne brought the curtain down on his Columbia University baseball career in style on Saturday.
The senior went 4 for 5 with a home run, two runs batted in and three runs scored as the Lions beat Pennsylvania 9-8.
In Kinne's four years at Columbia, the Lions won three Ivy League titles and appeared in three NCAA Division I tournaments. Columbia won a school record 34 games in 2014.
MASUCCI IS AN ALL-AMERICAN
MINNEAPOLIS >> It's another honor for Williams hockey player Zander Masucci.
The senior defenseman was named to the D3hockey.com All-American third team.
Ten schools are represented on the three All-America teams, selected by the D3hockey.com editorial staff and sports information staffs from around the country.
Masucci is the only NESCAC player on any of the teams.