Photo and report courtesy of Framingham State athletics
FRAMINGHAM – Reigning MASCAC Regular Season and Tournament Champions Framingham State have been predicted to win the 2018 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Softball Championship as voted on by the eight coaches from around the conference.
The Rams collected all seven possible first-place votes for 49 points coming off a 2017 season where the softball program established a new program record in wins with a 31-13 record and 12-2 mark during conference play en route to their first-ever regular season title and second trip to the NCAA Div. III Tournament.
Notable returners for the Rams are 2017 MASCAC Pitcher of the Year Kelsi Gunarathne, 2017 MASCAC Rookie of the Year Mycala Moody and three-time 1st Team All-MASCAC and 2017 NFCA All-Region selection Dayna Marchant.
Gunarathne led the conference in ERA (1.56), wins (17), strikeouts (144), complete games (21) and shutouts (7). Moody batted .348 with 39 hits, including two doubles and two triples, 12 RBI and 10 stolen bases in her first season with the Rams. Marchant hit .422 with 39 runs scored and 14 stolen bases while establishing a new FSU record for hits in a season with 62 and is currently ten hits shy of the Rams all-time record.
Sitting in the second spot with the final first-place vote is Westfield State with 39 points then Worcester State is in third with 35 points. Tying for fourth is Bridgewater State and Salem State with 28 points. Landing in sixth is Fitchburg State with 25 points and rounding out the 2018 poll in seventh and eighth are MCLA and Massachusetts Maritime with 12 and eight points, respectively.
The Rams will begin their 2018 campaign when they host Brandeis on Tuesday, March 6, which will be followed by a 10-game swing down at the PFX Spring Games in Clermont, Florida.