AMHERST, Massachusetts -- Amherst College softball edged out NESCAC rival Tufts University (25-12) for the second time in the NCAA Tournament to stay alive in Regional Competition. The Jeffs will face third-seeded Wheaton (38-11) at 9:00am on Saturday to determine which team will meet top-ranked Bridgewater State (34-9) in the New England Championship. The Finals are scheduled for 11:00am tomorrow as the winner will earn one of eight invitations to the NCAA Division III National Softball Championship.
Amherst cracked the 30-win mark for the first time in the four-year history of the varsity program in the Jeffs' first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Seeded No. 5 in the Regional, the Jeffs posted a 3-1 win over Tufts to begin the weekend. Facing host Bridgewater this morning, however, Amherst fell 4-1 as six errors produced all the Bears' runs. Meeting Tufts for the fifth time this season, the Jeffs eliminated the Jumbos from their second-straight NCAA Tournament with a 1-0 victory. Senior Jen Shea (Hatfield, MA) pitched a two-hitter to push Amherst's record to 30-7.
The NCAA Division III New England Championship is a five-team, double-elimination tournament that featured the five finest softball teams in the region, all hailing from Massachusetts. Last year Wheaton advanced out of the region and finished as the No. 3 team in the country.
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