The 2014 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference campaign raises its curtain for defending champion Manchester University Tuesday, April 1.
Game specifics: First pitch for the doubleheader is 3:30 p.m. at Raven Softball Field on AU's campus … Live audio can be accessed via a link at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics.
Spartan Shorts: Tuesday's games will be the first since March 21 for MU. The Spartans (3-9) have had their last three scheduled dates, versus St. Mary's of Indiana, Albion College of Michigan and the College of Mt. St. Joseph of Ohio, dashed due to weather … Sophomore designated hitter/outfielder/catcher Kaile Niezgodski (South Bend, Ind.) leads the offense with 10 hits, seven of which have been for extra bases. Her seven RBIs, four doubles and two home runs are also first with her two round trippers ranking fifth in the conference. Senior infielder Alicia Cleveland (LaGrange, Ind.) is the squad's batting average leader (.357) … On the mound, junior Ashlea Nash (Gas City, Ind.) is at the head of the class in wins (two), while sophomore MacKenzie Williams (Kendallville, Ind.) tops the charts in strikeouts (14) and earned run average (5.06) … With the Black and Gold claiming three of four a year ago included, the series between the conference rivals has been very closely-contested over the past five seasons. AU owns an 8-6 edge in the span.
Home-Opening Weekend: Franklin College and Hanover College visit Spartan Field Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6.