ANDERSON — All of them had a shot. All of them went down in flames.
The Anderson University softball team finished as dominating a performance as the conference has seen in a while with a 13-4 victory over Bluffton to win the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament on Saturday.
The Ravens ruled the roost, so to speak, in such a way as to put seven on the 11-player All Tournament Team. AU will get an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament and will find out Monday morning where the team is seeded and who will host the tourney.
AU got its offense rolling early against Beavers freshman starting pitcher Emily Scupholm. The home team sent eight hitters to the plate in the first two innings and nine in the third.
“It was important that we got on her early,” said AU head coach Tony Holloway. “She had pitched five innings earlier (in a win over Rose-Hulman Saturday morning). When we got the lead, (starting pitcher Sami Frazier) knew if she made a mistake, it wasn’t going to kill us.”
Frazier made just one mistake. With the wind blowing strongly to left field, keeping the ball down was important. She got one up to Bluffton sophomore outfielder Ashley Knippen and Knippen deposited it over the left field fence for a solo home run in the second.
“I wasn’t as sore as I expected to be today,” said Frazier, who pitched AU to its first win of the tournament on Friday against Transylvania. “But for some reason I wasn’t as sharp as I wanted to be. But my defense played well behind me and the offense was spectacular.”
No Raven starter failed to collect a hit. Nicole Frazier and Katie McCool slugged back-to-back homers in the third. Five batters had two hits apiece, one of them being Shenandoah graduate Yardley Collett.