GREENWOOD, IN – The Anderson University softball team has been selected as the favorite to win the 2013 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference softball title in a vote of league coaches. The Ravens claimed 80 total points and eight first-place votes in the Coaches' Preseason Poll.
Bluffton University placed second in the poll with 66 total points and one first-place vote. Manchester University finished third in the poll with 60 total points and was followed by Transylvania University with 59 points. Defiance College (39), Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (34), Franklin College (28), Hanover College (22), and College of Mount St. Joseph (17) rounded out the poll.
Anderson finished the 2012 season as the conference champions and will be looking for the school's sixth conference title this spring. The Ravens were 32-12 overall and 16-0 in conference play last season. Anderson claimed the HCAC tournament title with a 6-3 win over Manchester and ended the season with a 6-1 loss to Carthage in the NCAA regional.
The Ravens return five All-HCAC first-team members from last season's team, including the HCAC's Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year. Senior Natalie Moorhouse (Albion, Ind./Central Noble) returns to play shortstop after earning the top HCAC honor last spring. Moorhouse posted a .511 batting average with a conference-best six home runs and 22 RBI in league play. Junior outfielder Katie Lee (Anderson, Ind./Highland) led the Ravens at the plate last spring. The first-team All-HCAC selection posted a team-best .443 average in 40 games played, adding 37 runs scored, 12 doubles, and 17 RBI.
On the mound for Anderson, senior Devin Moorman (Batesville, Ind./H.S.) returns after earning HCAC Pitcher of the Year as a junior. Moorman finished 8-0 last season with a 0.86 earned run average against conference opponents. The junior pitched eight complete games and struck out 26 batters in 49.0 innings of work.
Bluffton finished second in the league standings last season with an 11-5 record. The Beavers were 26-17 overall and fell to Manchester (6-2) in the HCAC tournament. Bluffton returns two first-team All-HCAC members to the lineup this spring. Sophomore Katie Clark (New Palestine, Ind./H.S.) and senior Shelby Wade (Delaware, Ohio/Buckeye Valley) will look to lead the BU offense in 2013. Clark led the Beavers last spring, batting .430 with 29 runs scored, 19 doubles, and 30 RBI, while Wade hit .317.
Manchester finished fourth in the conference race with an 8-8 record. The Spartans were 21-23 overall and lost to Anderson in the conference tournament title game. The black and gold return one first-team All-HCAC selection to their lineup. Junior Kylie Planck (Valparaiso, Ind./Wheeler) will play third base for the Spartans this spring and hit .346 with 25 runs, three doubles, four triples, and 15 RBI as a sophomore.
The 2013 softball season opens on February 23. The HCAC portion of the schedule will begin on March 23 with the HCAC Tournament slated for May 3-4.
Anderson University Head Coach Tony Holloway
2013 HCAC Softball Coaches Preseason Poll
|1. Anderson||80 (8)|
|2. Bluffton||66 (1)|
|9. Mount St. Joseph||17|
2013 Softball Players to Watch
Anderson: Amy Wuestefeld – OF/IF (Sr., Batesville, Ind./H.S.), Lauren Smith – P/2B (Sr., New Palestine, Ind./H.S.), Katie Lee – OF (Jr., Anderson, Ind./Highland), Natalie Moorhouse – IF (Sr., Albion, Ind./Central Noble), Devin Moorman – P (Sr., Batesville, Ind./H.S.), Yardley Collett – 1B (So., Middletown, Ind./Shenandoah)
Bluffton: Brittany Baker – 1B (So., Springboro, Ohio/H.S.), Chloe Shell – P (So., Covington, Ohio/H.S.), Katie Clark – OF/1B (So., New Palestine, Ind./H.S.), Shelby Erford – SS (Jr., Paulding, Ohio/H.S.), Shelby Wade – OF (Sr., Delaware, Ohio/Buckeye Valley)
Defiance: Katie Miller – OF (Sr., Archbold, Ohio/H.S.), Macy Ferrall – IF (Jr., St. Marys, Ohio/Memorial), Kailea Holbrook – P (Jr., Defiance, Ohio/H.S.), Kate Patchin – (Fr., West Farmington, Ohio/Bristol), Makayla McAvoy (Fr., Mt. Gilead, Ohio/H.S.)
Franklin: Alli Stropes – 1B/P (Sr., Trafalgar, Ind./Indian Creek), Adrienne Way – OF/P (Sr., Noblesville, Ind./H.S.), Jessica Ayers- SS (So., Frankfort, Ind./H.S.), Katie Struewing – 1B/3B (Fr., Greenwood, Ind./H.S.), Mackensie Vanosdol – P/1B (Fr., North Vernon, Ind./Jennings Co.)
Hanover: Leah Kemmerer – P (So., North Vernon, Ind./Jennings Co.), Dani Merrick – SS (So., Eminence, Ind./H.S.), Abby Murphy – 3B/SS (So., Richmond, Ind./H.S.)
Manchester: Kayla Yates – OF (Sr., Delphi, Ind./H.S.), Kylie Planck – 3B (Jr., Valparaiso, Ind./Wheeler), Maureen Lund – P (So., Huntington, Ind./North), Ashlea Nash – P (So., Gas City, Ind./Mississinewa), Emily Willmann – SS (So., Montpelier, Ind./Blackford)
Mount St. Joseph: Kim McElhinny – P/1B (Sr., Crestwood, Ky./Oldham Co.), Taylor McElhinny – P/IF (So., Crestwood, Ky./Oldham Co.), Tanya Sefton – OF (Sr., Vevay, Ind./Switzerland Co.), Claire Wehby – IF (Fr., Mason, Ohio/H.S.), Lindsay Griffith – C/IF (So., Alexandria, Ky./Bishop Brossart)
Rose-Hulman: Brianne Widmoyer – P/IF (Sr., Elkhart, Ind./Central), Alyse Mueller – P/1B (Sr., Belleville, Ill./West), Carly Heibel – P/IF (So., Ft. Wayne, Ind./Lakewood Park Christian), Allison Bowman – C/3B (Jr., Ft. Wayne, Ind./Snider), Marissa Stout – P/2B (Fr., Terre Haute, Ind./South)
Transylvania: Megan Mitchell – 3B (Sr., West Lafayette, Ind./Wm. Henry Harrison), Alyssa Oakley – 1B (So., Lexington, Ky./Lafayette), Michelle Ladanyi – SS/Util. (Sr., Winchester, Ky./Clark Co.), Chelsea Meiners – OF (Jr., Louisville, Ky./Mercy), Elizabeth Young – P/Util. (So., Louisville, North Oldham)