Huntington visit spotlights home opener

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University's 16-game home schedule begins Saturday, March 10.

Game details: Coach Josh Dzurick's Spartans, sporting a 0-2 record, face off against National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics' in-state foe Huntington University. The doubleheader, set at Spartan Field, starts at 1 p.m. … Live audio, statistics and video are available via links at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … Recent series history shows HU winning three of the previous four contests with one tie, happening last season, included.

Spartan Shorts: Dzurick noted this year's group is a "deep, veteran team that is ready to take the next step." "They're trying to be more consistent in effort and communication," he noted. "When mistakes happen, they're understanding and working to fix them. We still have plenty of work ahead of us, but I see a lot of progress."… MU's first opportunity in game action saw them push National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics' top 10 ranked Indiana Wesleyan University to the wire in both ends of a doubleheader Feb. 27 at Oak Hill High School.  A potent offensive attack that featured 16 runs, 21 hits, three doubles and six home runs led the way. The Spartans had six players finish with two-or-more hits. Senior outfielder Mallorie Jennings (Bourbon, Ind.) topped the charts with four which included a double and two home runs that led to seven RBI. Senior infielder Laurren Ladwig (Crown Point, Ind.) ended with three safeties, two of which cleared the outfield fence which was the same recipe for junior catcher Sydney Thompson (Logansport, Ind.) and her plate success. Junior third baseman Kate Skeens (Gas City, Ind.) and freshman catcher/infielder Alexis Mokos (St. John, Ind.) added three hits apiece, too, while sophomore infielder Makenzi Nyland (Avon, Ind.) finished with two. The Wildcats managed to gain a hard-fought 11-10 and 9-6 sweep. A run in the bottom of the seventh decided game one and an eight-run outburst over the first four innings determined the nightcap finish … This weekend marks the first time for newly-minted assistant coach Emily McCormick in the Black and Gold's first base coaching box. A four-time all-Big Sky Conference honoree who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cal State – Sacramento in December 2013, she was also a team captain and all-Big Sky tournament selection during her playing days for the Hornets. She's the program's career doubles leader and also ranks in the top 10 in RBIs and home runs. McCormick has previously served as an assistant at Victor Valley Community College of California where she helped guide the Rams to a sixth-place finish in the Western States Conference East division last spring and as part of the Foothills Athletic Conference in 2015.

On The Horizon: The Spartans embark for Orlando, Fla., next weekend and a 10-game, six-day excursion that runs from Sunday, March 18, through Friday, March 23. MU is back in the Midwest and at home against Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association foe St. Mary's College Monday, March 26.