Softball Preview: Infielders
HANOVER, Ind. – After previewing the team’s pitchers and catchers last week, we will next take a look at the Hanover softball team’s infielders for 2017.
The Panthers return all four starting infielders from last year’s squad, led by Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Second Team pick McKenzie Writt (Franklin, Ind.). Writt returns as the starting second baseman after she hit .310 in 40 games. The junior led the team and was fourth in the HCAC in RBI with 34, while also pacing Hanover in doubles with nine.
Back as the team’s shortstop is senior Gabby Ritchey (Loogootee, Ind.). Ritchey set the tone offensively for the Panthers as their lead-off hitter a year ago. In 40 games, she ranked in the top 10 in the HCAC in four different categories including walks (1st – 24), stolen bases (2nd – 31), runs scored (6th – 32), and on-base percentage (8th - .439).
Sophomore Lillian Hughes (Sellersburg, Ind.) returns for her second season in a Panther uniform. The third baseman finished her freshman campaign with a .294 average in 32 games. Hughes tied for the team lead in home runs with three, and also had four doubles and 17 RBI in 102 at-bats.
Junior Mikala Poe (Greenfield, Ind.) is also back after starting 28 games last year and serving as the team’s primary first baseman. She will be joined in the infield by three freshmen and three sophomores that will compete for playing time and provide depth in 2017.
Like the pitching staff, Hanover returns an experienced and talented group of infielders from last year’s team, and will count on that group both offensively and defensively to help lead the team to another HCAC Tournament appearance.
With less than two weeks until Panthers’ season-opener in Florida, we will complete our look into this year’s team and the three-part series next week with a look at Hanover’s outfielders.
Contact: Mike Pritchard