Spartans, Calvin clash in midweek meetings

Spartans, Calvin clash in midweek meetings

A span of six games in five days opens for Manchester University on its home Spartan Field Tuesday, April 17.

Game details: First pitch between the Spartans (12-14) and Calvin College (16-5) is 3:30 p.m. … Live audio, statistics, and video are accessible at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … Coach Josh Dzurick follows the doubleheader with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association top 20-ranked Knights by journeying to Terre Haute, Ind., Wednesday, April 18, for a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader against Rose-Hulman. Start time is 5:30 p.m.

Spartan Shorts: With inclement weather around the region washing out last weekend's schedule, this afternoon marks the first time the Black and Gold have stepped into competition since a sweep of league rival Anderson University April 12. A day removed from back-to-back tough luck losses at the hands of Defiance College, Coach Josh Dzurick's squad rebounded and in a big way. An 8-0, six-inning roll and a come-from-behind 3-2 nailbiter over Anderson University jumped the Spartans into fifth on the loop standings and just a game out of the top four. The opener at Raven Softball Field was all MU. Senior pitcher Madisyn Walter (Hanna, Ind.) fired her sixth complete game of the year in the form of her third career shutout. Walter gave up five hits, only one free pass and struck out five AU hitters, while her offense pounded out nine safeties. Senior outfielder Mikayla Deisler (Goshen, Ind.) and junior outfielder Krystal Sellers (Bourbon, Ind.) each gathered two and scored two runs; sophomore designated player Makenzi Nyland (Avon, Ind.) tallied three RBI, and junior infielder Mandi Boggs (Frankfort, Ind.) wound up two-for-four with a run scored and two RBI in the leadoff spot. In the nightcap, freshman hurler Hayley Perez (Portage, Ind.) continued to be a tough puzzle for opposing offenses to solve. Improving to 4-4, she struck out five, didn't allow a walk and was nicked for only one earned run on six hits. AU managed to plate two scores in the third for a 2-1 lead, but the visitors were resilient. They tied it in the fifth on a run-scoring single from junior infielder Sydney Thompson (Logansport, Ind.) and brought in the eventual game-winner in the sixth when senior outfielder Mallorie Jennings (Bourbon, Ind.) rapped a run-scoring single of her own. The hosts put a runner in scoring position in each of the final three plate chances but couldn't convert for the tie … Senior second baseman Laurren Ladwig (Crown Point, Ind.) continues to be among the HCAC's top offensive players. Her 14 home runs, a single-season program record, are first, while she's second in batting average (.475) and RBI (30). Junior third baseman Kate Skeens and Thompson are also in the round-tripper top 10 with Thompson tied for fifth (four), and Skeens tied for eighth (three). Oher strong rankings belong to Jennings (stolen bases – No. 6 - 10); Perez (earned run average – No. 9 – 2.75); and Walter (strikeouts – No. 10 – 25/saves – T-5th – one/wins – T-9th – five) … Previous matchups for MU against the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association resulted in a split at Hope March 29 and St. Mary's College of Indiana taking two at Spartan Field March 26.