Game Preview

225Martinek Grounder


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology softball team will host Manchester University in regular-season doubleheader finale beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday at the RHIT Softball Complex.

Prior to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup, the Fightin’ Engineers will honor its two seniors, Allison Bowman (Fort Wayne, Ind./R Nelson Snider) and Jenna Martinek (Troy, Mo./Troy Buchanan), in a special ceremony.

Rose-Hulman (17-13, 9-5 HCAC) enters Saturday’s contest fresh off a two-game sweep over Webster in Thursday’s nonleague twin bill. The Engineers, currently ranked third in the conference standings, have already clinched a bid into the upcoming HCAC Tournament, set for May 2-3 at the league’s top seed after Saturday’s contests.

For RHIT, it marks the first trip to the HCAC Tournament since 2008.

Junior Jessica Ahlborn (Houghton, Mich./Houghton) leads the Engineers at the plate with a .333 batting average with seven doubles, three triples, three home runs and 12 RBI. Other notable batters for RHIT include Bowman (.326, team-high nine doubles), Marissa Stout (Terre Haute, Ind./South Vigo) with a .325 average, seven doubles, two home runs, and 19 RBI, and Carly Heibel (Fort Wayne, Ind./Lakewood Park Christian), who’s batting .296 with 14 RBI, seven doubles and a team-best four home runs.

Heibel leads the Engineers in the circle with a HCAC-best 1.38 ERA and a 10-4 record. She’s struck out 40 in 96.1 innings pitched. Sophomore teammate Taylor Lockhart (Robinson, Ill./Oblong) adds a 5-4 record with a 3.78 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 66.2 innings.

Manchester (10-22, 6-8) enters Saturday’s contests with a 1-7 record in its last eight games, although the Spartans snapped six-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over Huntington April 23.

Emily Liston (.397, nine RBI, four doubles), Kylie Planck (.321, six triples, six RBI) and Kalie Niezgodski (.314, 22 RBI, 11 doubles, five home runs) lead the Spartans at the plate. In the circle, Ashlea Nash (6-15, 6.76 ERA, 41 strikeouts) and MacKenzie Williams (4-7, 5.31 ERA, 27 strikeouts) have seen the most innings for Manchester.

The Spartans lead the all-time series with RHIT, 14-8, sweeping both contests in 2013, 7-4 and 6-5.

Live stats and live video will be available for Saturday's contests at 

Admission to all RHIT softball games is free.