Husson University’s golf and softball teams begin their quests for national titles this week just two days apart.
The golf team will compete in the 36th annual NCAA Division III National Tournament today as the first round takes place at the Hershey Links and Country Club in Hershey, Pa.
The softball team, which won a second straight North Atlantic Conference title by going undefeated in conference play, will take on top seed Eastern Connecticut State University in an NCAA Division III regional first round game at Wellesley, Mass., Thursday.
The five Husson players who will compete in the golf tourney are junior and NAC golfer of the year Kevin Byrne of Winslow, sophomore Mike Hersey of Presque Isle, sophomore Matt Loubier of Winslow, senior Ben Estabrook of Bangor, and junior Tim Carlson of Presque Isle.
Byrne, Hersey and Loubier are All-NAC first team picks and Estabrook is second team.
The four-day tournament runs through Friday. Co-coach Ed Meo says his team’s primary goal is to make the cut for the first time in program history.
The softball team, which is seeded eighth for Eastern regional, will play a 10 a.m. game at Wellesley College in the double-elimination tourney.
“That was my guess as far as our seeding,” said Husson head coach Amanda Davey. “We played a couple of top-10 teams in Texas in our spring trip and if we could have won one of them, that might have bumped us up.”
The 28-13 Eagles will play either a winner’s bracket game on Friday at 2 p.m. or a 10 a.m. elimination game if they lose to ECSU, which brings a 32-4-1 record into play.
“We totally know what to expect after doing this last year,” Davey said. “Last year was kind of an eye-opening experience for us, but this year’s team should be much less nervous than we were last year.”
The Eagles are hitting .315 as a team and led offensively by junior Dottie Cameron (.382, 3 home runs, 36 RBIs), while the pitching staff (3.37 team ERA) is led by freshman Kody Lyon (13-6, 3.61 ERA) and Nicky Sargent (10-5, 3.09), a junior from Sullivan.