GREENWOOD, IN - The 2014 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference softball tournament will take place this weekend at Anderson University. The host Ravens earned the regular season championship after going 15-1, claiming the school's third HCAC softball title. Bluffton, Rose-Hulman, and Transylvania will join Anderson this weekend.
The host Ravens (26-7, 15-1 HCAC) will look to capture their fourth straight HCAC tournament title. Anderson held a 5-1 record against the competition they will face this weekend. The Ravens offense has been solid this season, averaging .369 at the plate with 16 home runs and 119 runs scored in 16 conference tilts. The AU pitching staff ranks first in the HCAC, boasting a 2.45 ERA with 71 strikeouts. Anderson has won eight of 10 games heading into tournament play.
The offense has been propelled by the efforts of junior Nichole Frazier (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central). The junior has a .400 batting average and ranks among the HCAC leaders with six home runs, 22 RBI, 40 total bases, and a .800 slugging percentage in league play. Sophomore pitcher Sami Frazier (Greenfield, Ind./H.S.) has led the pitching staff the entire season. The sophomore holds a record of 8-1 in league play with a 1.50 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 51.1 innings of work.
Bluffton (24-14, 12-4 HCAC) placed second in the standings after a successful season. The Beavers posted a 3-3 record against the teams in the tournament field this spring. Bluffton's offense has been the best in the HCAC this season, ranking first in batting (.377), runs scored (122), and hits (179). BU's pitching staff ranks third in the HCAC this spring, posting a 3.37 ERA during league play. Junior Brittany Baker (Springboro, Ohio/H.S.) leads the team and ranks among the HCAC leaders in batting average (.466), runs scored (21), doubles (8), RBI (20), total bases (44), and slugging percentage (.759).
Rose-Hulman (18-14, 10-6 HCAC) enters the league tournament as the No. 3 seed this weekend. The Engineers finished 3-3 against the tournament competition this spring. Junior Carly Heibel (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Lakewood Park Christian) leads the team at the plate and in the circle this spring. Heibel is batting .296 with 10 runs scored, five doubles, four home runs, and 14 RBI during league play. In the circle, Heibel is 8-3 with an ERA of 2.12 in 76.0 innings of work. As a team, Rose-Hulman's pitching ranks second in the league with a 3.01 ERA.
Transylvania (14-22, 8-8 HCAC) returns to the HCAC tournament for the first time since 2012. The Pioneers enter the tournament with a 1-5 record against the tourney field. Freshman Krista DeBurger (Pendleton, Ky./Henry Co.) leads the Pioneers with seven home runs and 22 RBI, while batting .333 with 17 runs scored.
Action will get underway from Anderson at 10:00 AM Friday morning as No. 2 seed Bluffton faces No. 3 seed Rose-Hulman. Top seed Anderson and No. 4 Transylvania will tangle at 12:00 PM in the second opening round game.
Friday, May 2
Game 1: #3 Rose-Hulman vs. #2 Bluffton
Game 2: #4 Transylvania vs. #1 Anderson
Game 3: Bluffton vs. Transylvania
Game 4: Rose-Hulman vs. Anderson
Saturday, May 3
Game 5: Bluffton vs. Rose-Hulman
Champ: Anderson vs. Bluffton