N. MANCHESTER, IN – Spurred by a strong pitching effort from sophomore starter Sami Frazier, second-seeded Anderson University picked up a pair of shutout wins during day one of the 2013 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships Friday, May 3.
Frazier surrendered only two hits and one walk to third-seeded Bluffton University in the opener en route to a 3-0 win. She came back in the final game of the day with another strong performance with four strikeouts and just two hits given up over six frames in a 6-0 winner's bracket game victory over fourth-seeded Franklin.
AU, improving to 24-14, got plenty of offensive support. Second baseman Lauren Smith was three-for-three with two runs scored against Franklin, while shortstop Amy Wuestefeld and catcher Natalie Moorhouse added two hits each. Third baseman Katie Ogden turned in the key hit in game one with a two-run double as part of a three-run fourth that broke up a scoreless tie.
The Grizzlies (16-26) pulled off the upset of the afternoon, breaking up a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning with four runs, including a three-run home run from pitcher McKensie Vansodol, to topple top-seed and tournament host Manchester University 6-2. Vansodol went the distance against the Spartans (20-16) with five strikeouts.
MU remained alive on its home Spartan Field, coming back from the late innings loss to Franklin, by knocking Bluffton out of the tourney with a 10-6 elimination game win. Freshman catcher Kalie Niezgodski was the story, hitting a pair of home runs including a three-run shot in the third that overturned a 3-0 deficit.
Anderson, Franklin and Manchester continue tourney play Saturday, May 4. The Spartans and Grizzlies battle in a rematch at 11 a.m. with the winner joining the Ravens in the championship round at 1 p.m.