Magazine On-line [summer 2011]
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Softball has its best Heartland record ever

The softball team compiled its best record ever in regular season Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with a 15-1 mark, good enough for the Pioneers’ third straight regular season league crown and the opportunity to host the HCAC tournament on Hall Field. Under head coach Michelle Manning, Transylvania was 23-13-1 overall.

Transylvania’s only HCAC regular season loss came at the hands of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology by 7-6. The Pioneers then reeled off 14 straight wins to head into the conference tournament with great momentum.

Softball team cheeringThe Pioneers lost to Defiance College 3-2 in the opener of the double-elimination event, then easily handled Bluffton University 10-2 in the second round. Anderson University brought Transylvania’s season to an end with a 2-0 win that ended the Pioneers’ tourney hopes.

Earlier, the Pioneers spent spring break in Clermont, Fla., taking part in the NTC Spring Games. A 4-6 record for the week included wins over Wesleyan University (Conn.) by 15-7 and the University of Wisconsin-Superior by 6-5.

Transylvania players won two of the most valuable player awards in the HCAC when senior Kendra DeArk was named Pitcher of the Year and sophomore infielder Megan Mitchell was selected as Hitter of the Year. Both were also named to the All-HCAC first team.

DeArk posted a 7-1 record against league opponents with a 0.78 earned run average. Overall, she was 8-7 with a 2.13 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 95 innings.

Mitchell had 17 home runs, tying her own school single-season record. She set HCAC marks with a .629 batting average, 27 runs scored, and 11 homers. She led the league in runs-batted-in with 28, slugging percentage at 1.629, on-base percentage at .722, and walks with 21. She was also the National Fastpitch Coaches Association NCAA Division III National Player of the Week for the April 25-May 1 period.

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