CHICAGO – 2014 was the last time the Mount Mary University softball team played the North Park University Vikings (1-15). Today, the Blue Angels (3-11) square-off with the Vikings at the Holmgren Athletic Complex in hopes to get a game back in the all-time series in which NPU enjoys a 6-0 lead.
Although under .500 on the season, the Blue Angels have seen some big production out of their lineup on both sides of the chalk. Freshman Audrey Beck (Costa Mesa, Calif.) leads the team in most offensive stats and finds herself 11th in the Association of Division III Independents in batting average (.400) and on-base percentage (.467).
Sidnee Turnage (Fr./Hesperia, Calif.) and Katie Arce (Fr./Cypress, Calif.) have also provided plenty of lift in the heart of the Blue Angels lineup. The duo has 14 RBIs between the two while also combining for 33 percent of the team's hits.
Either Adrianna Nester (Fr./Anaheim, Calif.) or Hannah Harnsberger (Fr./Hillsboro, Ore.) have started in each game for the Blue Angels in 2016. With the addition of reliever Stephanie Norman (Fr./Noblesville, Ind.), the MMU pitching staff has contained the opposition to 6.58 earned runs per game while striking-out 3.12 batters per contest.
The Vikings might be on a 7-game losing streak, however, the team's top hitters have kept the team in nearly every game. Three of NPU's qualifying batters (those who have 2.5 plate appearances per game and appear in 75 percent of the team's games) hit above .333 from the plate. The Vikings top hitter, Ellie Manderfeld, maintains a .426 batting average in 47 at-bats.
On paper the Blue Angels have the advantage in team batting average by +.031, team ERA by +1.17 runs, and a slight edge in team fielding percentage by +.015.
Those who cannot make it down to the Holmgren Athletic Complex by the 3:00 pm first pitch can see every pitch with live video and stats courtesy of the North Park University Athletic Department. Links to the live feeds can be found at mtmaryathletics.com.