Grizzlies Chosen to Finish Third in HCAC by League's Coaches

Grizzlies Chosen to Finish Third in HCAC by League's Coaches

GREENWOOD, Ind. – The Franklin College softball team has been picked to finish third in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) by the league's coach, as was announce by the league on Thursday afternoon.

Coming off a 26-17 season that featured a trip to the HCAC championship game, the Grizzlies earned 69 points and one first place vote to finish just behind defending conference champion Transylvania and Anderson in the pre-season poll. Additionally, seniors Oliva Paszek, Grace Paszek and Alexis Tarver, as well as juniors Monica Collins and Shelby Mager were named to the league's Players to Watch list.

Overall, the Grizzlies welcome back five regulars and two members of the pitching staff from a year ago. Tarver returns to anchor the Franklin lineup after batting .364 with 11 home runs and a team-high 47 RBI, earning a First Team All-HCAC selection in 2017. Collins was a Second Team All-HCAC choice after batting .350 with a team-high 12 stolen bases last year.

Grace Paszek's 23 RBI are the second most among all Franklin returners while Mager batted .319 with 16 RBI and 11 steals a season ago.

A Second Team All-HCAC choice a year ago, Olivia Paszek returns as the ace of the pitching staff after going 10-6 with a 1.72 earned run average and 100 strikeouts in 110 innings of work. Sophomore Kayla Selzer gives the pitching staff some depth after going 8-4 with a 3.39 ERA and a pair of saves last year.

The Grizzlies open up their season on Feb. 17, traveling to Memphis, Tenn. for meetings with Wesleyan (Ga.) and Rhodes College.

Place Team (First Place Votes) Points 2017 Record 2017 HCAC Record
1 Transylvania (8) 89 35-13 12-4
2 Anderson 73 21-21 12-4
3 Franklin (1) 69 26-17 9-6
4 Defiance 66 25-17 10-5
5 Hanover 49 18-14 8-8
6 Mount St. Joseph 49 20-15 8-7
7 Bluffton 42 20-13 5-8
8 Manchester 29 13-25-1 3-13
9 Rose-Hulman 20 11-25 1-13