MU opens conference slate on high note

MU opens conference slate on high note

HANOVER, IND. – A pair of strong pitching efforts, sprinkled with some timely hitting, helped lift Manchester University to a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference sweep Sunday, March 29.

Sophomore hurler Anna Schillinger (Fort Wayne, Ind.) fired her third complete game in a Black and Gold uniform during the opener, holding the host Hanover College Panthers to just one earned run on six hits in a 10-4 victory. MU's offense, rallying back from a 4-0 first inning deficit, plated eight runs over the third and fourth frames due, in large part, to a three-run home run off the bat of freshman second baseman Laurren Ladwig (Crown Point, Ind.) in the third and RBI singles from freshman outfielder Mikayla Deisler (Goshen, Ind.) and junior catcher Kaile Niezgodski (South Bend, Ind.) in the fourth. Schillinger took advantage of the offensive output, blanking the Panthers (8-6, 0-2 HCAC) on just three hits over the final six frames.

In the nightcap, senior Ashlea Nash (Gas City, Ind.) and Hanover sophomore starter Hannah Phillipe produced a pitcher's duel. Nash allowed just one run on seven hits and struck out four, while Phillipe was nearly even, surrendering only two earned runs on eight hits. An RBI double from senior shortstop Emily Willmann (Montpelier, Ind.) and an RBI single from junior outfielder Ashley Stahl (Wheatland) proved to be the key safeties in MU's 2-1 win. Stahl also was part of a critical defensive play in the bottom of the fifth, combining with Ladwig and Niezgodski to cut an HC runner down at home, as Nash worked around four hits over the final three frames to pick up her fifth win.

The underclasswoman duo of Ladwig and sophomore designated hitter Emilee Liston (Cicero, Ind.) tallied four hits apiece to top the 14-inning totals. Ladwig crunched a pair of home runs and a double, driving in four in the process, as part of a meteoric 2.200 slugging percentage. Liston doubled twice and drove in two runs. Deisler and Stahl registered three hits each with Stahl doubling twice in game one and Deisler scoring two runs, too.

Manchester University (7-6 overall, 2-0 HCAC), winners of seven of its last eight, opens its home schedule this week. The Spartans host Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association foe Hope College Friday, April 3, at 2 p.m. in non-conference twinbill action and return to conference play Saturday, April 4, when Mt. St. Joseph University of Ohio visits Spartan Field for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.

NOTES: Willmann increased her on-base streak to 19 successive games during the day … Nash, who has allowed just three earned runs in the last 29 and two-thirds innings, dropped her earned run average to 1.75.