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Spartans split Thursday contests

CLERMONT, FLA. – A complete-game victory for junior pitcher Ashlea Nash (Gas City, Ind.) and an offense that produced 14 runs in two games highlighted Manchester University's play on its Florida spring break trip Thursday, March 20.

Nash shut down Ripon College of Wisconsin behind a two-strikeout, seven-hit effort. She was aided in the 7-3 decision by a pair of home runs from sophomore catcher Kaile Niezgodski (South Bend, Ind.) who belted a pair of home runs. Junior outfielder Shannon Stephan (Granger, Ind.) also turned in a multiple-hit effort with two hits and an RBI.

In the nightcap against 2013 NCAA Division III regional qualifier Fontbonne University of Missouri, the Black and Gold battled back from an early 7-1 deficit and pushed the Golden Griffins to a 10-7 final. MU's offense produced six hits which included a two-hit, three-run scored outing from sophomore outfielder Ashley Stahl (Wheatland, Ind.) while Niezgodski wrapped up an impressive evening with two RBIs to go with her two game one homers. Sophomore designated player Jessica Chorak (Hammond, Ind.) also got in on the act with two RBIs.

Nash managed to hold off the Fontbonne offense after it struck for seven tallies in the first two frames. Coming out of the bullpen, she surrendered only three earned runs on six hits over five and two-thirds innings.

MU (3-6) wraps up its 2014 Florida swing Friday, March 21. They are scheduled to take on Ramapo College of New Jersey at 11 a.m. and the University of Dubuque of Iowa at 1 p.m.

NOTES: Freshman outfielder Emilee Liston (Cicero, Ind.) and Niezgodski both take six-game on base streaks into Friday … The Spartans are slated to open their 2014 home season Wednesday and Thursday, March 26 and 27, against St. Mary's College of Indiana and Albion College of Michigan.