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Spartans sweep past Huntington in style on the softball diamond

Article provided by Manchester University

Softball

NORTH MANCHESTER – A pair of seventh-inning walk-offs allowed a crowd of better than 100 Manchester University fans to leave Spartan Field in a celebratory mood on Saturday, March 10.

Freshman catcher Alexis Mokos delivered her first home hit in a black and gold uniform at an opportune time in the opener, looping a safety into left-center field as senior second baseman Laurren Ladwig scooted home with the tying tally for a 6-5 decision. Senior hurler Madisyn Walters turned in a complete-game victory with two strikeouts for her first of the year, as junior catcher Sydney Thompson guided a 13-hit attack with three of her own.

Game two saw more of the same. After trailing the visiting Huntington University Foresters 7-2 after an inning and a half, coach Josh Dzurick’s offense responded with six runs over the second through fourth frames for an 8-7 lead. Huntington had an answer of its own with two in the fifth and sixth to lead 11-8, but, once again, the Spartans, moving to 2-2 on the season, had a solution. They scored two in the sixth and then two more in the seventh, highlighted by a solo home run from Thompson and a run-scoring sacrifice fly by relief pitcher Mallorie Jennings in their final at-bat to conclude a 12-11 triumph.

Six MU players tallied multiple-hit efforts in the nightcap. Ladwig led the way with a pair of home runs in the midst of a four-for-five, three-runs scored, four-RBI tilt; junior right fielder Krystal Sellers and junior third baseman Kate Skeens tallied three hits apiece; and Thompson, sophomore left fielder Shakira Perez and sophomore designated player Makenzi Nyland added two-hit contests each.

The Spartans return to action Sunday, March 18, opening a stretch of 10 games in six days in Orlando, Fla.

Baseball

Kopplin gem sends Spartans to sweep

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – Manchester University parlayed a 13-hit attack with more strong starting pitching Sunday, March 11.

The Spartans, improving to 6-3 overall with their fourth straight triumph, concluded a weekend sweep of North Coast Athletic Conference in-state foe DePauw University with an 8-3 decision at Bishop Chatard High School. A four-run fourth inning rally proved key, allowing coach Rick Espeset’s squad a 6-0 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Senior Taylor Kopplin followed suit with his Class of 2018 teammates on the mound.

After Stephen Pinarski and Brandon Eck gained pitching wins March 10, Kopplin went the distance, striking out seven and giving up just the three earned runs on nine hits.

The program’s second complete-game outing in the past four contests helped the staff ERA continue to tumble to a season-low 5.64, as the Black and Gold have allowed only eight earned runs in the last 34 innings.

MU’s offense had multiple heroes in the series finale. Sophomore first baseman Nick Rush finished four-for-four with a pair of doubles and two RBI; senior third baseman Hunter Lane and senior left fielder Eric Knepper added multiple-hit outings with two each; and junior shortstop Braxton Riley ended with a pair of RBI.

The Spartans open their 2018 home season Saturday, March 17, beginning a three-game weekend set between the HCAC and Ohio Athletic Conference. A pair of nine-inning match-ups begins at 1 p.m. at Gratz Field.

Wrestling

Wilson concludes sterling senior and career slate

CLEVELAND, OHIO – Manchester University senior 141-pounder Chase Wilson wrapped up a remarkable 2017-18 season and collegiate career at the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships Friday, March 9.

Wilson, the No. 8 seed in his weight class, picked up a decision and major decision to move within one match of All-American status before falling in the consolation third round, winding up a 2-2 finish at the Cleveland Public Auditorium. He concluded his senior year as the NCAA Division III Central Region champion and Outstanding Wrestler, earning the program’s first national meet berth since 2012, with a record of 34-7 and 101 career victories.

Women’s Indoor Track and Field

Wappes winds up super sophomore season

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. - Manchester University sophomore distance runner Hannah Wappes placed 12th-fastest in the mile at the 2018 NCAA Division III indoor track and field Championships Friday, March 9.

Wappes, seeded 14th in the 17-runner field, clocked a 5:00.27 at the Birmingham CrossPlex. It was the second-fastest time of the season and career in the event for the sophomore, spotlighting a fifth consecutive indoor national meet appearance for the Spartans’ women’s program.