HANOVER, Ind. – With the 2018 Hanover softball campaign less than a month away, we open our annual three-part season preview series with the pitchers and catchers.
The Panthers, who were recently picked to finish fifth in the HCAC by the league's head coaches, will open the season, once again, in Florida during their annual Winter Break trip. The Blue and Red will face Alverno (Wis.) and Concordia-Moorhead (Wis.) on Sunday, Feb. 25 to start a five-day, eight-game stretch.
Over the next few weeks we will take a deeper look at the entire roster make up for the 2018 softball squad. Hanover is just two years removed from earning its first HCAC Tournament championship and first NCAA National Tournament appearance in program history.
The Panthers will have a bevy of talented arms returning this season, including junior Sydney Griffin (Cambridge City, Ind.), who will look to lead the way once again in 2018. Griffin, a second team all-HCAC selection last season and honorable mention pick in 2016, has a 24-17 career record at HC, which also includes 32 complete games. The junior led the conference in hits allowed (4.78) and strikeouts (8.01) per seven innings last season, with her K-average also inside the top 25 nationally. For her career, Griffin has a 2.66 earned run average and a total of 242 strikeouts.
Classmate Allison Wiseman (New Albany, Ind.) will look to improve upon a 2017 season which saw her work in the circle increase from her debut campaign with the Panthers. Last season, Wiseman posted a 3.05 ERA en route to a 6-2 record. She was also third in the conference in walks allowed per seven innings at 1.06.
Sophomore Bug Donnell (North Vernon, Ind.) spent most of her time in the field a year ago but did make four appearances in the pitching circle. In her limited 7.1 innings of work, Donnell struck out two batters. As a freshman, she also posted a .360 batting average, including eight RBI, five doubles and one home run.
Behind the plate, senior Sidney Powers (Indianapolis, Ind.) returns after a season off, as she hopes to pick up where she left off in 2016. As a sophomore, Powers tied for the team high in home runs with three, while also adding six doubles. For her career, she has a .307 batting average, 33 RBI, 17 runs scored and 13 extra-base hits.
Stay tuned next week as we dive deeper into our next position preview group, the infielders.
Contact: Tyler Jester