NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University head coach Josh Dzurick got a birthday gift from his Spartans he won't soon forget Saturday, April 21.
Freshman pitcher Haley Perez (Portage, Ind.) and senior second baseman Laurren Ladwig (Crown Point, Ind.) supplied a significant share of the celebration in the Spartan Field nightcap. As an ecstatic crowd of nearly 100 Spartans' fans looked on, Perez twirled and spun the gem of a lifetime in the circle, not allowing a single Hanover College hit or issuing a free pass while facing only two batters over the minimum.
Senior second baseman Laurren Ladwig (Crown Point, Ind.) made the program's first no-hitter since 2013 stand up. After junior first baseman Sydney Thompson (Logansport, Ind.) walked with one out in the first, she blasted her 16th round-tripper of the year for the eventual 2-0 final count. Ladwig's big fly was one for the record books, setting a new HCAC single-season record.
The needed victory that moved the Black and Gold to 15-17 overall and 7-5 in the league, still among the loop top five, came on the heels of the visiting Panthers rolling up a 9-0 first game victory. HC broke up a nip-and-tuck one-run battle with an eight-tally attack over the final four frames.
Thompson and freshman catcher Alexis Mokos (St. John, Ind.) each turned in a pair of two-hit games to add to Ladwig's game two heroics. Senior outfielder Mallorie Jennings (Bourbon, Ind.) added in two safeties in the opener.
Manchester University returns to action, hosting Bluffton University in HCAC action Wednesday, April 25. Game time is 3:30 p.m.