Number crunchin’, home cooking’ – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

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We’ve officially entered April, and the Major League Baseball season is here. While the pros are just getting started, softball and baseball at the college level is beginning to heat up, just like some Point Park softball and baseball players.

The softball team currently stands at third place in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) at 15-5 behind University of Rio Grande (10-2) and Indiana University Southeast (8-0).

Hannah Harley, sophomore right-handed pitcher, pitched 17 games with 11 starts and 75.0 innings pitched last season en route to an all-conference worthy season.

This year through 14 games, she has already matched her innings total from last year and has been even more dominant. Harley finished last year with an 8-3 record and a 3.55 ERA. So far, she is 8-3 with a 3.44 ERA.

Harley’s three losses have all come in the last three starts. After suffering the loss against Carlow University, she gave up a total of 18 runs over two games against Rio Grande. Up until that game, she had given up just 14 runs in conference games the entire season.

Karen Mao, senior third baseman, leads the KIAC with 40 RBIs in 32 games. Last year through 41 games, she tallied just 31 RBIs.

Jessica Beitler, freshman catcher, has broken onto the scene in a big way, leading the team with a .484 batting average. The McKeesport High School grad has been on a tear as of late, hitting .704 (19-27) in her last 10 games.

The baseball team is expectedly atop the KIAC at 24-5 overall with a 9-1 conference record. The Pioneers not only own the top record in the conference, but the team owns four of the five major individual statisticalcategories as well.

Senior first baseman Oscar Romero leads the KIAC with 30 RBIs, junior centerfielder Demetrius Moorer leads the conference with 16 stolen bases, senior pitcher Nate Sphon has the lowest ERA (1.47), and junior pitcher Nolan Krivijanski has the most strikeouts (27).

What do all the numbers mean, anyway?

Well, we’re entering the home stretch of games. Emphasis on the home.

Up until this point, the softball team has played four home games, all this past weekend in a four game set with Rio Grande. They will play every remaining conference game at home.

The baseball team has had just one home game, a non-conference win over Penn State Greater Allegheny, and it wasn’t even at home field. The game was played at Consol Energy Park due to its turf surface. After April 6, the Pioneers won’t have to play a single road game.

It’s home cookin’ time. These are the games that matter, and these are some of the players that can carry these teams through the conference tournaments at the end of April and into May.