HIRAM, Ohio- The Hiram College women's softball team will look for a perfect blend of their seven fresh faces and nine returners to highlight their 2019 campaign.
Hager was also selected as a 2018 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III All-Central Regional Second-Team honoree last season. This year the sophomore was named a Preseason All-American Honorable Mention selection by Fastpitch News.
Here is how the Terriers break down for the upcoming 2019 season:
In Scheck's first season with the Terriers, she appeared in 20 games, including 16 in the circle. The young pitcher led the Terriers in many of the major pitching categories, including wins (three), earned-run average and innings pitched. The sophomore finished the season second on the roster with 36 strikeouts and totaled three complete games.
Martinez the lone senior of the group appeared in 20 games with nine starts in the circle, totaling 52 innings pitched with 24 strikeouts. Martinez closed out the season with four complete-game performances and tied the Hiram record for saves in a season (2).
Hager had seven starts in the circle tallying 37.1 innings pitched and a 5.62 ERA while collecting 26 strikeouts. Hager was a force to be reckoned with leading the NCAC in batting average (.473), on-base percentage (.558) and slugging percentage (.742). The sophomore finished the season with 45 hits and paced the Terriers in both walks (17) and stolen bases (12).
Behind the plate, captain Giselle Bahena will enter her second season as catcher and third baseman, while freshman Kathleen Valenzuela will enter her first season with the Terriers. In Bahena's 31 games of work, she tied for fourth on the team with 21 hits and posted four multi-hit games.
The group of infielders will be led by Sheffield. Last year, the sophomore played in all 35 games finishing second on the team with 16 runs, totaling a .318 batting average, 28 hits (10 for extra bases), and 11 RBIs. Sheffield didn't stop there she also recorded a multi-hit performance eight times.
Junior Nikki Budner finished the 2018 campaign with a .955 fielding percentage and tied for third on the team in RBIs (11), with nine runs, 21 hits, and three stolen bases.
Call served double duty last season adding four appearances in the circle along with playing infield. The junior led the team with 21 RBIs and was second in hits (29), totaling 11 runs, four stolen bases, and two home runs.
Captain Alexus Acton is the last of the returning infielders. The junior played a major part of the infield appearing in 30 games and posting a pair of home runs.
Hiram welcomes West Covina, California native freshman Leah Valdez to the infield lineup.
The utilities group includes Isabelle Miranda and freshman Giselle Chavez. Miranda finished the season with 17 hits, 11 runs, and eight RBIs. The junior was second on the roster in stolen bases (7), and she recorded her first career home run in a 17-6 victory over Rockford in 2018.
The Terriers will open their 2019 season on the road kicking off their campaign in California with 10 games in a five-day stretch (Whittier, Cal Lutheran, Cal Lutheran, Hope Int'l, Redlands, Pomona-Pitzer).
After returning from the Golden State, Hiram will host back-to-back non-conference doubleheaders against Thiel (Pa.) and Baldwin Wallace on March 14 and March 16.
The Terriers will then travel to Mount Union and Heidelberg on March 27 and March 28.
Hiram will open their conference doubleheader action against Ohio Wesleyan on March 30.
Next, the Terriers will head to Bethany, West Virginia to take on Bethany College on March 31.
From April 3-April 27 Hiram will play seven conference doubleheaders including Denison, Wittenberg, Allegheny, DePauw, Oberlin, Wooster, and Kenyon. The Terriers will play their last nonconference game against John Carroll on April 18.