HANOVER, Ind. – With just over one week remaining before the 2018 season begins, we conclude our three-part season preview series of the Hanover softball team with the outfielders.
Prior to the start of the 2018 season, we will take a deeper look at the entire roster makeup of this year's softball squad, previous position group releases can be found above. Hanover is just two years removed from earning its first HCAC Tournament championship and NCAA National Tournament appearance in program history.
The outfield group will be a fairly inexperienced unit to start the year, but the Panthers do have the luxury of returning two-time first team all-HCAC selection in senior Dabney Skutt (Indianapolis, Ind.). Skutt, a career .379 hitter, posted a team high .385 batting average last spring, while also leading the team in RBI with 22. She is the leading returner in runs scored as well, crossing home plate 17 times in 2017. For her career, Skutt has accumulated 28 extra-base hits, 56 RBI and 70 runs scored.
Sophomores Bug Donnell (North Vernon, Ind.) and Jennah Ruddick (McCordsville, Ind.) each saw limited time in the outfield as season ago, with Donnell posting a .360 batting average over 50 at-bats. As a freshman, Donnell, who is also one of HC's top returning pitchers, tallied five doubles, nine runs and eight RBI. Ruddick appeared in two games in her debut season with the Blue and Red, posting a .333 on-base percentage.
Freshmen Rachel Cox (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Mackenzie Smith (Jeffersonville, Ind.) will look to earn playing time right away in their first collegiate seasons. Classmate Lily Beurman (Evansville, Ind.) will look to add depth in both the outfield and the pitching circle.
Hanover will open its season with eight games in five days during its annual Winter Break Trip to Florida. The Panthers' begin the busy stretch of games against Alverno (Wis.) and Concordia-Moorhead (Wis.) Sunday, Feb. 25.
Contact: Tyler Jester