Stops at Hope College's Wolters Softball Stadium and Mt. St. Joseph University's Kinder Morgan Softball Complex resume a six-game week for Manchester University.
Game details: The twin bill versus the Flying Dutchmen begins at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 29, while the double-dip against the Lions, which starts the 2018 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference schedule for both programs, has a 1 p.m. first pitch Saturday, March 31 … Live audio, stats, and video are available for the Hope games, and fans, friends, and alumni need to check back at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics, for possible links in regards to the MSJ match-ups.
Spartan Shorts: Coach Josh Dzurick's team stands 7-9 after dropping a pair of Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and NCAA Division III Great Lakes region power St. Mary's College of Indiana March 26. The Spartans trailed 5-3 after five in the opener before the Belles, winners of 18 of 20, registered a nine-run sixth to win 14-4, and the visitors jumped out in the nightcap with seven tallies over the third and fourth in route to an 8-0, six-inning decision … The Black and Gold's offense has led the way to date, hitting a robust .350, good for fourth-highest in the conference. Senior second baseman Laurren Ladwig (Crown Point, Ind.) is out to a white-hot start, sporting a .519 batting average; 11 home runs; 24 RBI and a 1.192 slugging percentage. She's among the first five of the loop in each category and leads the way in home runs and slugging percentage while ranking second in batting average and runs-batted-in. Her round-tripper, slugging percentage, and total base marks play well nationally, too, as the reigning HCAC and Fastpitch News/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Hitter of the Week is among the top 10 in each including being the national leader in home runs per game (.69) and total home runs (11). The senior, who tied the single-season school home run record that she holds in just 14 contests, is seventh in slugging percentage and eighth in total bases (62) in NCAA Division III … Other first 10 slots inhabited by Spartans on the current league numbers belong to junior catcher Sydney Thompson (Logansport, Ind.) (home runs – T-4th – 4); senior outfielder Mallorie Jennings (Bourbon, Ind.) (home runs – T-8th – 2/stolen bases – T-9th – 5); sophomore designated player/infielder Makenzi Nyland (Avon, Ind.) (home runs – T-8th – 2); junior third baseman Kate Skeens (Gas City, Ind.) (home runs – T-8th – 2); junior shortstop Miranda Boggs (Frankfort, Ind.) (doubles – T-10th – 5); and senior pitcher Madisyn Walter (Hanna, Ind.) (wins – T-9th – 3/strikeouts – 19 – 10th).
Home and Away Week: The Black and Gold travel to loop rival Anderson University Wednesday, April 4, for a 3:30 p.m. start and return to Spartan Field Saturday, April 7, to take on Franklin College at 1 p.m.