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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Softball opens PSAC Central play at Lock Haven Wednesday – Mounties look to repeat last season PSAC playoff berth

MANSFIELD – After going undefeated in non-conference play the Mansfield University softball team will face a pair of tough task over the next three days when they open PSAC Central play at defending NCAA Division II softball champion Lock Haven on Wednesday and perennial PSAC and NCAA power Bloomsburg on Friday.

The Mountaineers, who are 9-0 on the season, travel to Lock Haven on Wednesday for a 2:30 p.m. doubleheader and host Bloomsburg in their home opener at Helen Lutes Field at 2:30 p.m. on Friday. Mansfield will also travel to Edinboro for an inter-divisional doubleheader on Saturday.

Mansfield is the only remaining undefeated team in the PSAC although the Mountaineers have played fewer games than the other 15 programs in the conference.

Mansfield currently leads the PSAC in team batting (.411) and team pitching ERA (1.19) while ranking seventh in team fielding (.953%).

Senior Jen Stein (Williamsport/Williamsport) ranks third in the conference in batting with a .500 averaging and the Mountaineers have four of the top 20 hitters in the PSAC in juniors Janelle Antes (Elizabethville/Upper Dauphin) (.464), Nicole Yost (Antes Fort/Jersey Shore) (.423) and freshman Kelley Pfleegor (Milton/Milton)  (.400).

Stein also ranks first in the conference in on-base-percentage (.593) while Yost is third in slugging percentage (.885).

Freshman Caitlin Klobosits Coplay/Whitehall)  tops the PSAC in ERA at 0.50 while junior Melissa Baer (Williamsport/Williamsport) leads the conference in opposing batting average at .143.

Last year Mansfield, which had always competed in the PSAC East, moved to the newly created PSAC Central after Gannon and Mercyhurst were accepted into the conference. Mansfield competes in the division with Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, IUP and Clarion with the top three teams in each division advancing to the PSAC Championship tournament.

Mansfield earned its first PSAC playoff berth in the programs history last season when the Mountaineers edged out IUP in the final day of the regular season.

The Mountaineers will open the conference campaign when they travel to defending NCAA Division II National Champion Lock Haven on Wednesday. When they get there they will see a familiar face in Lock Haven head coach Kelly (Morris) Shannon.

Shannon was a standout for Mountaineer head coach Edith Gallahger in the late 1990s at Mansfield and remains the Mountaineers only All-PSAC pitcher. She, along with her husband former men’s basketball standout Steve Shannon, were inducted in the Mansfield University Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame this past October.

Lock Haven is currently 5-8 overall and 0-2 in the conference after dropping a pair of games to Bloomsburg.

Bloomsburg is 19-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play. The Huskies, ranked 13th in the nation in the latest NFCA Division II poll, will be led for the last time by head coach Jan Hutchinson who will retired after 33 years at the helm of the program at the end of the season.

Hutchinson, who has won more softball games than any coach in NCAA Division II history, has won 13 PSAC Championships during her tenure.

IUP, whom Mansfield defeated to earn its playoff spot last season, is ranked 12th in the nation in the latest NFCA poll. The Crimson Hawks are currently 15-2 on the season. Clarion, the other member of the division, is 2-9 on the season.





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