Each week, the staff at NESCAC Insider, the Tufts Daily’s NESCAC blog, will compile a roundup of the top news throughout Div. III’s top conference. For more up-to-the-minute analysis and comprehensive coverage of the NESCAC, visit blogs.tuftsdaily.com/nescacinsider or follow on Twitter @NESCACInsider.
Men’s Lacrosse | Ephs get supermodel shoutout
After a monumental upset, Williams got a little hotter.
The Ephs’ men’s lacrosse team took down national No. 5 Union on Wednesday night 8-6, just Williams’ third win of the season. After falling behind 2-0 on the road, the Ephs rallied behind 14 saves from goalie Sean Dougherty and consistent defensive play that overcame a 13-5 deficit on faceoffs and withstood 44 Dutchmen shots.
The 3-6 Ephs broke a two-game losing streak and flexed their muscles, holding Union scoreless in the second and third periods while building up a 5-2 lead entering the final period in the process.
Following the game, bikini model and Sports Illustrated cover girl Kate Upton tweeted her support for the Ephs, writing from her account @KateUpton, “Congrats to my cousin’s team @Ephslacrosse for their win!! Love you Stephen!!”
Stephen Upton, a sophomore midfielder from Alexandria, Va., ranks eighth on the team in scoring with a goal and four assists through nine games this season. He’s come off the bench in all nine.
Williams returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Colby in a NESCAC matchup at 1 p.m.
Softball | Leet has Amherst hard to beat
The Tufts softball team has received a great deal of local attention for its star freshman, pitcher Allyson Fournier, she of the perfect game and 17-strikeout performance.
Turns out that Amherst has a first-year ace in store as well, except this one is tearing it up on the offensive end.
Freshman Donna Leet has already broken the Lord Jeffs’ single-season RBI record after she went 6-for-7 with four RBIs in Amherst’s doubleheader sweep over Western New England on Wednesday. That bumped her season total up to 34, which broke the previous record of 31 set by Sarah Rinaldi in 1998.
Leet leads Amherst – which at 24-1 is currently receiving votes in the latest Div. III NFCA coaches national poll – with a .460 batting average and a conference-high 11 doubles. Her 34 RBIs also top the conference, three ahead of Middlebury’s Jessica Poracky. Amherst is undefeated in the NESCAC West and has a three-game series this weekend against Hamilton (4-13, 0-6 NESCAC), so look for Leet to pad her stats against a Continentals pitching unit that sports a team ERA of 5.24.
Baseball | Jumbled mess in NESCAC East
Trinity’s sweep of Tufts gave the Bantams the inside track to the top seed in the NESCAC East and a legitimate shot at dethroning the two-time defending conference champs, but both the Jumbos and Bowdoin are lurking in the wings.
The Polar Bears dropped the opener of a three-game series against the Bates Bobcats, spoiling yet another strong outing from ace Christian Martin, who struck out nine and allowed two runs in seven innings. Reliever Henry Van Zant started the eighth and recorded just two outs, surrendering two runs on three singles.
Bowdoin rebounded to take two of three from Bates on Saturday, however. Oliver Van Zant went the distance in the seven-inning game, allowing just four hits while fanning nine in a 3-0 win. Tim Welch went deep into the nine-inning rubber match, striking out four in eight innings.
The Bantams, meanwhile, steamrolled the Jumbos at Huskins Field, sweeping them and setting up a critical three-game series this weekend in Brunswick, Maine. A sweep or even a series win for Trinity would all but lock up the top seed for the Bantams.
Bowdoin, on the other hand, has more work to do. It will likely need to win this weekend’s series, hold serve against Colby next weekend and then enter the April 27-28 series versus Tufts with a playoff spot on the line.