Price named First Team All-HCAC
Meagan Price named First Team All-Heartland Conference
May 11, 2011
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Two Bluffton University softball players were recently honored by
the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches for their outstanding play this
season. Junior Meagan Price (Toledo/Springfield) was Bluffton's lone member of the first team, while freshman
Shelby Erford (Paulding) earned honorable mention following her first season with the Beavers.
Always a standout behind the plate, junior Meagan Price had a breakout season with the club in 2011. She belted five homers, tied for the team high, and drove in 11 runs while batting leadoff for the Beavers. Price finished with a team-best .445 on-base percentage thanks to her Bluffton season-record 23 walks. Once on base, she terrorized her counterparts with a team-high 12 stolen bases on 12 attempts. Price slugged .484 and led the Beavers with 28 runs while tallying five sacrifice bunts. She hit .316 for the season, 60 points higher than her career average. Following the season, her teammates voted her Most Valuable Player and winner of the Gold Glove award.
After three years at Bluffton, Price is tied for 14th all-time with a .385 on-base percentage. She is tied for 15th with 113 games started and 50 runs scored. Although Price never homered before this season, her five dingers in 2011 placed her tied for 5th all-time at Bluffton. She ranks 10th on the career stolen base list with 22 thefts in 25 tries. Price is fourth in Bluffton's career record book with 644 fielding chances, 570 putouts and a .984 fielding percentage. Fellow junior Emily Manahan (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) moved to the top of the charts this season with 782 chances and 734 career putouts as a Beaver.
Price has been an integral part of Bluffton's softball success the past three years, anchoring the defense and pitching staff from behind the dish. She provides her pitchers with a confidence that comes from knowing Price refuses to let a ball get by her. Opponents rarely test her arm and when they do, they often pay the price as she threw out 10 of the 27 runners who tried to steal on her for a superb .630 SBA percentage.
Freshman Shelby Erford started quickly in Florida, bashing a two-run walkoff homer against Bridgewater before taking over as the starting shortstop when the Beavers returned to Ohio. She handled the transition from second base to shortstop smoothly, giving the Beavers a solid middle infield that was even more impressive at the plate. Erford equaled Meagan Price for top home-run honors with five bombs. She started all 35 games and finished with a team-best .510 slugging percentage. The rookie was second to fellow middle infielder Chelsie Osborne with 22 RBI and 34 safeties. Erford scored 17 times and hit .327 for the season.
Coach Bruder led the Beavers to the conference tournament for the fifth consecutive season. Bluffton is the only school that has qualified each year since the HCAC went to a four-team format five years ago.