By Rick Teverbaugh The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin
---- — 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.
“This weekend was probably the best I’ve seen the ball all year,” said Collett. “I tweaked one thing in practice this week. I had been putting a lot of pressure on myself and this weekend I was more relaxed. The whole team hit the ball really well.”
Collett had a pair of singles, scored two runs and drove in one. Nicole Frazer had a two-run double to go with her three-run homer for five RBIs. Taylar Kelso had a successful squeeze bunt in the first, a double in the second and an RBI single in the third.
Rachel Fiscus, a freshman pitcher from Brownsburg, threw a perfect fifth inning in relief of Frazier.
“Rachel did a nice job for us today closing it out,” said Holloway. “Our whole pitching staff performed well. Hannah Belvo got us a big win on Friday so we didn’t have to use Sami in two games that day.”
The Ravens finished conference play with an 18-1 record and will take a 29-7 overall mark into the NCAA tournament. Each of the other three teams in the conference tourney got to play a game against the Ravens and none of them scored as much as a third as many runs as AU in any game. For the tournament the Ravens scored 29 runs and gave up 8.
Ravens on All Tournament Team • Yardley Collett, first base, Shenandoah • Sorcha Cox, second base, Hagerstown • Nicole Frazier, shortstop, Franklin Central • Taylar Kelso, third base, Avon • Morgan Burke, left field, Tri-Central • Katie McCool, right field, McCutcheon • Sami Frazier, pitcher, Greenfield