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Manchester University softball faces tough midweek schedule

Article provided by Manchester University

Manchester University looks to gain more ground on the 2018 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings Wednesday and Thursday, April 11 and 12.

Coach Josh Dzurick’s squad (10-12 overall, 2-2 HCAC) hosts Defiance College Wednesday in a 3:30 p.m. twin bill at Spartan Field and travels to Anderson University’s Raven Softball Field for a similar start time for another doubleheader Thursday.

A sparkling span of 26 innings pitched with just one earned run given up continued for freshman pitcher Hayley Perez on April 8. Perez kept a potent Franklin College offense in check in game two. She was aided by an offense that compiled seven hits and five scores after having been on the verge of being perfect gamed and no-hit in the opener.

Senior second baseman Laurren Ladwig and junior third baseman Kate Skeens finished with two hits apiece, and another freshman put her name on the game’s marquee as designated player Alexis Mokos lined a double to left center in the fifth that unloaded the bases for a 5-1 cushion. The opener saw Grizzlies’ starter Olivia Paszek stymie the Black and Gold bats. She allowed only one baserunner over the first six frames and wasn’t touched for a hit or allowed a walk.

MU’s offense finally got to the FC ace in the seventh. Junior catcher Sydney Thompson doubled and scored on a single by sophomore infielder Makenzi Nyland but fell short of a complete comeback in a 4-1 defeat.

Ladwig’s game two effort Sunday marked her team-leading 11th multiple-safety outing. She’s also first in multiple-RBI outputs with six and has the longest hitting and on-base streaks of the year (15). Mokos (10-game hitting/13-game on-base) and Skeens (10-game hitting and on-base) are close behind.

With those numbers and National Fastpitch Coaches Association and Fastpitch News Division III national Player of the Week honors added in, she was named Hero Sports’ top Division III player going into April earlier this week. Ladwig ranks in the top five nationally in home runs per game (No. 1), total home runs (No. 2), slugging percentage (No. 3) and total bases (No. 5).


Defiance College’s westward wanderings to Manchester University’s outdoor courts Wednesday, April 11, resumes the 2018 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference schedule.

First serve between the Spartans (0-5 overall, 0-1 HCAC) and Yellowjackets is 4:30 p.m.

Senior Kyler Love and freshman Isaac Miller share the lead atop the singles’ win ladder with two each through five duals. Sophomore Gavin Eads is next in line with one and is the lone unbeaten after a straight-set decision against Alma College in late February.

Love’s successful presence for interim coach Dr. Wendy Hoffman’s crew doesn’t stop there. He joins senior Garrett Bear for a 2-2 record for front of the class honors in doubles. The teams of junior Connor Eichenauer and Miller and Miller and senior Spencer Thomas have each forged at least one victory.

Following Wednesday’s dual, the Black and Gold’s schedule features a home clash with league co-leader Rose-Hulman Friday, April 13, at 3 p.m. and a match-up against loop foe Franklin College Saturday, April 14, at the university’s outdoor courts with an 11 a.m. start.