Nine Franklin Softball Players Collect All-HCAC Honors

Top Row, L-R: Olivia Paszek, Alexis Tarver, Justice Carmichael
Second Row, L-R: Lexi Gaffney, Kayla Selzer, Natalie Weber
Bottom Row, L-R: Monica Collins, Grace Paszek, Morgan Burch
Top Row, L-R: Olivia Paszek, Alexis Tarver, Justice Carmichael Second Row, L-R: Lexi Gaffney, Kayla Selzer, Natalie Weber Bottom Row, L-R: Monica Collins, Grace Paszek, Morgan Burch

GREENWOOD, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) released the 2018 Softball All-Conference teams on Wednesday (May 9) afternoon. Just days after capturing the program's first conference tournament championship, the Franklin College softball team placed a program-record nine players across the all-conference teams.

Alexis Tarver, Olivia Paszek, Justice Carmichael and Lexi Gaffney collected HCAC First Team accolades. Kayla Selzer, Natalie Weber and Monica Collins were named Second Team All-HCAC while Grace Paszek earned a spot on the Honorable Mention Team. Additionally, Morgan Burch was the team's representative on the All-Sportsmanship team.

Tarver collected her second First Team All-HCAC award after another strong year at the plate and in the field for the Grizzlies as the everyday third baseman. Tarver batted .400 with team highs in home runs (five), RBI (42), doubles (16) walks (23). In the HCAC championship game, the Indianapolis-native drove in the winning run with an RBI double as Franklin knocked off Transylvania, 1-0.

Also collecting her second career first team honor was Olivia Paszek, who was named to one of the all-conference teams for the fourth straight year. The ace of the Grizzlies' pitching staff sits 17-3 with a 2.10 earned run average with 123 strikeouts over 126 2/3 innings of work. The Franklin-native tossed 18 complete games, twirling four shutouts.

In her first season patrolling the outfield, Carmichael batted .347 with two home runs, 20 RBI, 13 doubles, two triples and 31 runs scored. She finished the year with an on-base percentage of .425 and her .542 slugging percentage ranked third among all Grizzlies. In the field, Carmichael did not commit an error, recording 40 putouts and seven assists from right field.

Rounding out the first team selections was Gaffney, who batted .384 with 24 runs scored, three RBI and 18 stolen bases while occupying left field. Gaffney finished with a .403 on-base percentage and a .950 fielding percentage.

Selzer collected her first all-conference award after a strong sophomore season in the circle, going 11-6 with one save, a 2.20 ERA and 53 strikeouts over 95 2/3 innings of work. The Indianapolis-native tossed three shutouts, including a four-hit blanking of Transylvania in the conference tournament championship game.

Weber had a breakout debut season as the team's cleanup hitter and every day starting catcher. The Shelbyville, Ind.-native batted .397 with two home runs, 40 RBI, 11 doubles, two triples and 21 runs scored over 38 games. Behind the plate, Weber gunned down 44.8 percent (13-of-29) of runners attempting to steal and made just one error on the year.

Collins was named Second Team All-HCAC for the second straight year after batting .418 with one home run, 29 RBI, 32 runs scored, four doubles and a .471 on-base percentage from the top of the Franklin lineup. Collins was named the HCAC Tournament's Most Outstanding Player after batting .533 with seven RBI over four games, helping Franklin capture their first ever HCAC Tournament title.

Grace Paszek picked up her first Honorable Mention selection after batting .314 with one home run, 23 RBI, 18 runs scored, four doubles and one triple. Over at first base, the Franklin-native was brilliant all year long, finishing with a .981 fielding percentage and recording a team-high 254 put outs.

Morgan Burch found her way onto one of the all-conference teams for the second time in her career. A 2016 HCAC Honorable Mention selection, Burch scored seven times and drove in five runs for the Grizzlies over 34 appearances in 2018.

Franklin will open the 2018 NCAA Tournament on Thursday (May 10) afternoon, taking on Calvin College in Holland, Mich. on the campus of Hope College. First pitch is set for noon.