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MU wraps up strong weekend

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University increased its current win string to five with a doubleheader sweep of the College of Mt. St. Joseph Saturday, March 30.

The Spartans, improving to 10-6 on the season, posted their third and fourth consecutive shutouts as well in 8-0 and 9-0 victories. It was all part of the 2013 home and Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener at Spartan Field.

Much as they did the non-conference twinbill sweep at Albion the day before, the Black and Gold received strong efforts on both the offense and pitching sides of the equation.

Freshman Kalie Niezgodski (South Bend, Ind.) drilled her team-leading third home run of the year in the opener, while the junior trio of third baseman Kylie Planck (Valparaiso, Ind.), second baseman Alicia Cleveland (LaGrange, Ind.) and center fielder Katelyn Schmidt (Fort Wayne, Ind.) each produced two-hit contests. Those performances were more than enough to support sophomore pitcher Maureen Lund (Huntington, Ind.) who tossed a five-inning perfect game with three strikeouts to earn her sixth win.

The nightcap saw more of the same. Sophomore pitcher Ashlea Nash (Gas City, Ind.) evened her season record at 4-4 with a complete-game one-hitter that included two strikeouts. Sophomore shortstop Emily Willmann (Montpelier, Ind.) clouted a three-run home run as part of a seven-run fourth inning outburst, while Planck and senior left fielder Kayla Yates (Delphi, Ind.) each contributed two-RBI games at the plate. Niezgodski came back after game one homer to go two-for-two as well.

The Spartans return to league play Tuesday, April 2, hosting a key match-up against HCAC preseason favorite Anderson University. Game time is 3:30 p.m. at Spartan Field.