A series that has been nearly dead even in recent history resumes Saturday, April 1.
Game details: First pitch for the 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams is 1 p.m. at Spartan Field in North Manchester, Ind. … Live audio, statistics and video can be accessed via a link at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … The Spartans and Mt. St. Joseph have split their last two meetings, and the total runs tallied by each program in those contests is separated by only one (22-21). Prior to 2015 and 2016, the Black and Gold had won eight straight from the Lions.
Spartan Shorts: Junior pitcher Madisyn Walter (Hanna, Ind.) kept home side St. Mary's bats silent for five innings in game one Tuesday's double-dip, but it wasn't enough to overcome a pair of victories by the Belles. Walter was nicked for a two-out single in the first but was difficult to solve from that point as Manchester University built a 2-0 edge with single runs in the first and fifth frames. SMC strung together three straight singles to make it 2-1 and tied it on an RBI ground out in the sixth, finishing the comeback in the seventh using a walk, single and sacrifice bunt to put the eventual winning score on third where it crossed home plate due to a sacrifice fly for the 3-2 final. The offensive leaders in game one for Coach Josh Dzurick's crew were freshman first baseman Shakira Perez (Elkhart, Ind.) and sophomore third baseman Kate Skeens (Gas City, Ind.) who tallied two hits each and senior left fielder Emilee Liston (Cicero, Ind.) who drove in both scores. The nightcap was a different story as a pair of St. Mary's pitchers kept the Black and Gold bats quiet to the tune of only one run on three hits, while the Belles' offense rattled off eight runs on 13 hits … A trio of Spartans maintain residence on the conference's statistical top five. Walter's five pitching wins are tied for third; junior second baseman Laurren Ladwig (Crown Point, Ind.), who earned league Hitter of the Week honors March 27, is fifth in home runs (three); and Skeens' 16 RBI are tied for third-most.
League Home Stand Resumes: Rival Anderson University takes a short northern trip to North Manchester for a pair of conference clashes Wednesday, April 5. First pitch is 3:30 p.m.