GREENWOOD, IN- Bluffton University secured a spot in the upcoming HCAC tournament with a 4-0 mark in league play last week. The Beavers (23-13, 12-4 HCAC) closed the conference schedule with sweeps of Manchester and Hanover and currently stand three games behind Anderson in the loss column in the race for a league title.
Junior Jess Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) propelled the Beavers during the week, going 9-for-22 (.409) at the plate with nine RBI and five runs scored. Kuzara pounded two home runs and hit two doubles, posting a .773 slugging percentage.
Bluffton will close the regular season at home against Capital Wednesday afternoon.
In other HCAC action...
Anderson remains in the driver seat for a regular season HCAC title following a 3-1 mark last week. The Ravens (21-6, 11-1 HCAC) dropped their first league contest to Rose-Hulman, but bounced back to take the second game of the doubleheader and earn a sweep of Transylvania to lock up a HCAC tourney bid. Nichole Frazier (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) finished the week 8-for-13 (.615) with five runs scored, a double, two home runs, six RBI, three stolen bases, and a 1.154 slugging percentage to lead AU.
Rose-Hulman is on the doorstep of securing a postseason berth following a 3-1 conference record last week. The Engineers (15-11, 9-5 HCAC) earned a split with Anderson and claimed a sweep at Mount St. Joseph. Junior pitcher Carly Heibel (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Lakewood Park Christian) tossed two complete game victories during the week, posting an ERA of 0.88. Heibel recorded a 2-1 win over Anderson with a six-hitter that included five strikeouts in nine innings of work. Against Mount St. Joseph, Heibel scattered seven hits with four strikeouts in a 5-2 win.
Hanover (17-15, 6-6 HCAC) went 2-2 last week, posting a sweep of Defiance and suffering a sweep at Bluffton. The Panthers are scheduled to close the regular season against Mount St. Joseph and Anderson this week.
Franklin (17-15, 5-7 HCAC) climbed back into the HCAC tourney hunt with a sweep of Defiance Saturday. The Grizzlies will travel to Transylvania and return home to face Mount St. Joseph this week.
For a complete recap of Week 8 in HCAC Softball, click here