The five-time reigning conference champion Ravens’ softball team kicked off Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play this weekend, taking on Mount St. Joseph in a Saturday double-header. Anderson won both games to start their conference season with a 2-0 record.
The Ravens’ bats were hot in the first game, as they pushed across three runs in the first inning, one in the third, and four in the fourth to put the game out of reach. Morgan Burke, Sami Frazier, and Megan Wade all had 2 RBIs, one of which came on Frazier’s solo home run in the third inning.
After five innings, the game was called due to a mercy rule with the Ravens leading 8-0. Ashley Cleverly was the winning pitcher, improving her record to 6-0 on the season. Rachel Fiscus relieved Cleverly and the two combined to throw a three-hitter.
Shelby Shaffer said, “We went into that game expecting to get the win. Losing was not an option. It is important for us to jump on top of teams in the first inning and we did that, giving us momentum for the rest of the game.”
The combination of dominant pitching and early momentum led to an impressive victory in the first conference game of the season.
Anderson took game two of the double-header on the strength of a complete game by Hannah Belvo.
The bats were still effective, as Anderson brought home five runs, enough to complete the sweep of Mount St. Joseph by a score of 5-2. Belvo allowed five hits and struck out five batters. Frazier had a big game at the plate in the second game as well, driving in three runs, two of which came on a home run in the seventh inning.
The wins pushed Anderson’s overall record to 11-6. The Ravens will host Franklin in a doubleheader on Saturday.
“It is a relief to start conference play with two wins but those are behind us,” Shaffer went on to say, “Franklin isn’t going to lay down so we need to go into those games with the mindset that we have to play our best to beat them.”
The Ravens face off against Franklin in a double header Satruday, April 9. All eyes will be on the junior powerhouse trio of Wade, Burke and Kelso.
Head coach Tony Holloway enters into his ninth season as the head coach of the Anderson University softball program. Holloway has over 30 years of experience with the AU softball team and many victories, including seven conference championships, nine post-season conference titles and eight NCAA Division III regional appearances.
The softball team is hungry for another title and ready to get the job done.