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Black and Gold wrap up Florida trip

CLERMONT, FLA. – Manchester University pushed perennial eastern powers Ramapo College of New Jersey and Western Connecticut State to the wire on the final day of its 2014 Florida spring break trip.

The Spartans dropped a 5-2 decision to Ramapo after leading 2-0 through four and were tied with Western Connecticut until WCSU posted a combined five runs over the final two frames. Dubuque University of Iowa upended MU in its other final day clash 11-3 in five innings.

Manchester University (3-9) was led by the upperclasswoman infield duo of senior third baseman Kyle Planck (Valparaiso, Ind.) and junior shortstop Emily Willmann (Montpelier, Ind.) who finished with three hits each and hit .333 on the day. Planck led the squad in slugging percentage, thanks to a triple, at .556. Sophomore pitcher MacKenzie Williams (Kendallville, Ind.) guided the pitching staff with a 2.71 earned run average in two starts and 10 and a third innings pitched.

The Spartans are scheduled to begin their 2014 home schedule Wednesday and Thursday, March 26 and 27. St. Mary's College of South Bend, Ind., visits Spartan Field Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., while Albion College of Michigan comes to North Manchester for a 3:30 p.m. first pitch the following afternoon. The four games are part of a busy six-game schedule for the squad, as they begin the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference slate at the College of Mount St. Joseph of Ohio Saturday, March 29.

NOTES: Freshman outfielder Emilee Liston (Cicero, Ind.) returns to the Hoosier state with a seven-game on-base streak in tow … Sophomore designated hitter/catcher/outfielder Kaile Niezgodski (South Bend, Ind.) leaves the Sunshine State as the squad leader in multiple-hit (three) and multiple-RBI (two) games. She shares the multiple-hit lead with junior outfielder Shannon Stephan (Granger, Ind.).