INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- After capturing the program's first-ever New England Collegiate Conference championship over the weekend, the Eastern Nazarene College softball team will face off against nationally-ranked Rowan at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in its first-ever NCAA Tournament game. The NCAA Division III Softball Committee unveiled the Division III Softball Championship field Monday afternoon and the Lions are one of 62 teams vying for a national title.
The Lions boast a 28-13 overall record entering the NCAA Tournament. Eastern Nazarene topped New England College twice in the NECC Tournament championship series to claim its first-ever conference crown.
Eastern Nazarene has never squared off against Rowan on the diamond in the program's 39-year history. This will be the second-ever meeting between the two institutions in the NCAA Tournament as Eastern Nazarene's only-previous NCAA Tournament appearance saw the then-Crusaders' women's basketball team battle Rowan in the "Sweet Sixteen" in the 1999-2000 season.
The Profs, ranked No. 17 in the NFCA National Poll, sports a 30-12 record on the year and posted a 14-4 record in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). Rowan will be making its ninth-straight and 27th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Lions are led by fourth-year head coach Dani Bishop, the 2019 NECC Coach of the Year. Lauren Clements (Garrison, Texas) was named the NECC Player of the Year this season and Elisabeth Schaffer (Benton, Pa.) was tabbed the NECC Pitcher of the Year. Kori Bow (Shaftsbury, Vt.) joined Clements and Schaffer on the All-NECC first team while Kiley Ozaki (Ewa Beach, Hawaii) earned All-NECC third team honors.
In the other game of the Cambridge, Massachusetts pod, the host MIT Engineers will clash with Husson.
The regional round will be held May 10-12. Four teams will compete at 14 regional sites and three teams will compete at two regional sites. The team advancing from each regional will compete in the super-regional round May 17 and 18. The finals, hosted by Texas-Tyler, will be held May 23-28 at Suddenlink Field in Tyler, Texas. All rounds will use a double-elimination format.
@SoftballENC reacts to hearing their named called on the @NCAADIII Tournament selection show. The Lions are going dancin' and will face No. 17 Rowan in the opening game at MIT #GoENC pic.twitter.com/DmTWHv27Iz— ENC ATHLETICS (@ENCAthletics) May 6, 2019