BROCKTON, Mass. ---- The Massasoit softball team will make the trek down to the Annapolis, Maryland area to face NJCAA Division III District H tournament-host Anne Arundel Community College (Arnold, Md.) on Saturday at 10 AM in a semifinal contest.
The winner of the four-team district tournament earns an automatic bid the NJCAA Division III National Tournament held in Rochester, Minn., from May 17-19. Massasoit's last trip to the NJCAA Nationals in softball came in 1991.
"We are so excited to have the opportunity to compete at districts with a chance to go to Nationals," third year head coach Jordan McDermott said. "The past few seasons have definitely had some challenging moments. However, I am very happy with how the girls have been able to respond to one another and how they have bonded with strong team chemistry.
"I couldn't be excited for these girls and the program. This weekend we are going to go into the tournament with the determination to succeed," McDermott said.
Massasoit will be competing in its first-ever NJCAA Division III District Tournament, thanks to claiming the Region 21 title by sweeping a four-game series against Northern Essex. It will mark the Warriors first trip to a district tournament since 2013, when Massasoit advanced as an NJCAA DII program.
The tournaments two semifinal matchups are single elimination, with the winners playing a best-of-three series, starting Saturday afternoon and concluding on Sunday.
The other semifinal matchup pins Region 20 runner up Butler County (PA) vs Suffolk County (NY), the Region 15 champion, on Saturday at 12 PM.
District Semifinals – Saturday, May 5th
G1: R21 Massasoit (5-9) vs R20 Anne Arundel (11-20) – 10 AM
G2: R20 Butler County (5-2) vs R15 Suffolk County (15-12) – 12 PM
G3: Game 1 Winner vs Game 2 Winner – 2PM (Best of 3)
District Finals – Day 2, Sunday, May 6th
Sunday, May 6th
G4: Game 1 Winner vs Game 2 Winner – 10 AM
G5: Game 1 Winner vs Game 2 Winner – 12 PM (If Necessary)
It has been a rollercoaster season for Massasoit during the 2018 campaign, highlighted by winning its first Region 21 title in five years.
Massasoit lost its first five games, then rung off a five-game win streak, before dropping the last four contests to conclude the regular season.
At the plate, the Warriors are hitting .307 as a team with five regulars hitting north of .300 and averaging better than seven runs per contest.
Leading the charge in the batter's box has been sophomore Courtney Foley of Holbrook. The versatile lefty, who sees time in both the infield and outfield, is hitting an eye-popping .516 for the season, to lead the team. Foley also tops the team in runs (16) and tied for the team-high with four extra-base hits.
Manning shortstop and hitting .410 is freshman Jazmyn Conrad. The slick fielding infielder is tied for the team-high in RBI (12) and extra-base hits (4) and has scored 12 runs on the season.
Fellow freshman Neive Doyle (Weymouth) has started all 14 games behind the dish for the Warriors. The backstop has hit .385 and knocked in 12 runs, having struck out only three times in 41 plate appearances.
In the circle, the duo of Mallory Fey (Plymouth) and Shelby Ross (Kingston) have eaten up most of the innings. Fey has made seven appearances and gone the distance in all six of her starts, posting a record of 4-2 on the year. She has worked a team-best 34 innings, fanning 28 to only eight walks.
Ross has also made seven appearances, posting six complete games in six starts, totaling 32.1 innings for the season.
ANNE ARUNDEL RIVERHAWKS
Anne Arundel earned the chance to host the district tournament by capturing the Region 20 Tournament last weekend, sweeping a pair of games against runner up Butler County CC by scores of 14-0 and 11-0.
With a deceiving record of 11-20, the Riverhawks have played a majority of NJCAA Division II programs throughout the 2018 season and closed out the season on a high note, winning six of their last seven games.
Hitting .315 as a club, AACC boasts seven regulars hitting .305 or better for the season. Sophomore Jenna Weinstein tops the team with a .427 average and has scored a team-best 30 runs.
The power bat combo of Katherine Rosati and Kaitlyn Nutwell have combined for six homers, 22 extra-base hits and 59 RBI.
Nutwell has also been the team's primary pitcher, making 16 starts and appearing in 20 games overall. She has struck out 82 batters in 79.1 innings and pitched nine complete games on the year.