Clark and Wade named First Team All-HCAC
Katie Clark and Shelby Wade named First Team All-Heartland Conference
May 9, 2012
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Six Bluffton University softball players were recently honored by the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches for their play this season. Freshman Katie Clark (New Palestine, Ind.) and junior Shelby Wade (Delaware/Buckeye Valley) both earned first team honors for the Beavers. Senior Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) along with freshmen Megan Patton (Waynesfield/Perry) and Lindsay Robertson (Cincinnati/Northwest) were selected to the second team while senior Emily Manahan (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) was named honorable mention All-HCAC.
Katie Clark capped off the best freshman campaign in Bluffton University softball history when she was named First Team All-Heartland Conference. Her conference marks of 27 hits, a .519 batting average and a .554 on-base percentage were all tops in the HCAC. She racked up 45 total bases (3rd), an .865 slugging percentage (4th), 15 runs (4th), seven doubles (5th) and three home runs (6th).
Overall, Clark smacked a conference-best 58 hits, including a school-record 19 doubles. She also led the HCAC in total bases (97) and slugging percentage (.719). Her .483 on-base percentage was second only to Anderson leadoff slapper and fellow first team All-HCAC honoree Katie Lee. Clark finished 3rd in hitting (.430), 4th with 30 RBI and 5th in home runs (6) and runs scored (28).
In just one season, Clark has already made her mark on the Bluffton single-season record book. Her 19 two-baggers shattered the previous record of 14 doubles by Allison Lange set in 2004. Clark equaled Lindsey Miller's school record with 97 total bases and she came up just short (58) of the 60 hits Miller drilled in 2009. The .719 slugging percentage by Clark is the third-highest in Bluffton history while her .483 on-base percentage is ninth all-time. She is third for a single-season with six bombs while her 30 RBI and 29 runs scored are both in the top 10 for the Beavers. In addition, Clark's 19 doubles already has her tied for 11th on the career list, nearly halfway to Lange's school mark of 39 two-baggers.
Junior Shelby Wade overcame early season struggles at the dish to earn her first All-Heartland Conference award this season. The smooth centerfielder recorded 52 putouts to go along with three assists. She hit .317 with four doubles, 10 walks and 26 hits. Wade finished with 13 stolen bases in just 15 attempts, placing her ninth all-time for a single season. She put together a .391 on-base percentage, third best on the team behind Clark and senior standout receiver Meagan Price (Toledo/Springfield) who drew a Bluffton record 30 walks this year and 78 for her career. Wade's nine stolen bases in conference play was the fourth-highest total in the HCAC. Wade was also named to the HCAC All-Sportsmanship Team.
Collecting her third piece of All-HCAC hardware was senior Chelsie Osborne. A two-year honorable mention selection at shortstop as a freshman and sophomore, Osborne moved to second base as a junior and into left field for her final campaign. She leaves Bluffton with a school-record 173 hits after she passed Lindsey Miller's mark of 171 at the Heartland Conference tournament last weekend. Osborne ranks in the top 10 all-time at Bluffton with 222 total bases (2nd), 95 RBI (3rd), 94 runs (3rd), 39 stolen bases (3rd), .341 batting average (4th), .438 slugging percentage (7th), 23 doubles (5th), four triples (5th), six home runs (6th). She is tops all time with 507 at bats and 161 games played and her 159 games started is second to fellow senior Emily Manahan who started 160 contests.
Osborne had her finest season for the Beavers in 2012. She finished with 50 hits (6th all-time), 28 runs scored (8th all-time) and 70 total bases (7th all-time). Osborne was a perfect 8-of-8 on stolen bases, executed nine sacrifice bunts and pounded out 11 doubles (6th all-time).
In addition to manning the hot corner for the Beavers, freshman Lindsay Robertson hit in the middle of Bluffton's lineup all season. She poked 11 doubles, tying her for 6th all-time on the single-season list at Bluffton. Her 41 hits (12th all-time) gave the Beavers four ladies with over 40 safeties in the same season, only the second time in school history (2009) that feat has been accomplished. Robertson scored 24 runs, drove in 22 and slugged .442 with a .375 on-base percentage.
One half of Bluffton's dynamic freshmen pitching duo, Megan Patton was named second team All-Heartland Conference for her overpowering work in the circle. She was the best in the HCAC in conference contests with a .182 opponent batting average. Patton's 1.64 ERA and 39 strikeouts were both third in conference contests. Overall, Patton led the HCAC with a 2.05 ERA and was second with a .204 opponent batting average, 130.0 innings pitched, 21 games started and 21 strikeouts looking. She was third with 11 wins and 89 punchouts. Patton's 4.79 strikeouts per seven innings meshed beautifully with freshman Chloe Shell's (Covington) 0.48 walks per seven innings, or less than one free pass over the course of two complete games. The two phenoms combined for 21 wins, 17 complete games, five shutouts and a 2.09 ERA.
Picking up her second All-Heartland Conference honor was senior Emily Manahan who was a first team selection as a sophomore. She started every contest she played in, a Bluffton record 160 games. Manahan racked up 450 at bats (4th all-time), 142 hits (5th all time), 22 doubles (8th all-time), 75 RBI (5th all-time), 173 total bases (6th all-time) and 38 walks (7th all-time). Manahan also left her mark with the following career numbers: .316 batting average, .384 slugging percentage, .374 on-base percentage and 54 runs scored. Defensively, Manahan leaves Bluffton #1 all-time with 1103 chances and 1036 putouts, while her .980 fielding percentage is 6th all-time. Manahan hit .331 with 27 RBI (10th all-time), 12 runs scored, four doubles and a homer this season.
For the sixth consecutive season under Coach Bruder's leadership, the Bluffton University softball team qualified for the Heartland Conference tournament. The Beavers are the only school in the conference with that on its resume since the HCAC went to a four-team format in 2007. Bluffton has finished lower than second during the regular season just one time in the past five years as the Beavers wrapped up their third straight 11-5 mark after going 12-4 in 2009 and 13-3 in 2008.