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Northmont grad starts fast in softball

It was a difficult opening stretch for the Wright State softball team, which went 0-5 against some of the nation’s top teams at the University of South Florida tournament.

But for one of the newest Raiders, the season has opened in impressive fashion.

Freshman Libby Pfeffer, a Northmont High School graduate, started all five games and went 5 for 14 with two RBIs and a run scored, and her .357 average leads the team by more than 100 points.

“I’m not surprised,” coach Lynn Curylo said. “Libby has demonstrated some great ability. I feel like she came out and didn’t have any expectations for the opening weekend. Hopefully that continues and she doesn’t put any pressure on herself this weekend.”

Pfeffer started three games at second base and two as the team’s designated player. Against Tennessee, the No. 1-ranked team in the country, Peffer went 1 for 2 and scored a run.

The Raiders dropped a 10-2 decision to the Volunteers to wrap up the weekend after losses to Illinois (8-0), South Florida (8-6), Pittsburgh (2-1) and Binghamton (9-0).

“We were right there with South Florida, and we lost to Pittsburgh on a seventh-inning walkoff,” Curylo said. “That tournament was loaded with really good teams, so it was a good way to test where we are. Playing teams like that, the games are a lot faster. They take advantage of everything you give them. To learn that early on is important.”

Among the top returning players for the Raiders is senior right-handed pitcher Krystian Dewitt, who was voted second team All-Horizon League last year with a 1.98 ERA.

Junior centerfielder Jess Gorman also was a second team all-league pick last year, and Tippecanoe High product Kortney Tackett is back for her third year of starting behind the plate.

Wright State will head to Bowling Green, Ky., this weekend to play five games, beginning with a contest against Indiana State this morning. The Raiders also will play two games against Northern Iowa and single contests versus IUPUI and Western Kentucky.

Pitching prowess: In baseball, Travis Hissong has been named the Horizon League Pitcher of the Week, marking the second week in a row the award has gone to a Raider after Joey Hoelzel won it last week.

The right-handed Hissong threw seven innings of three-hit ball Feb. 21 in a 3-1 victory against UC-Irvine. Hissong added five strikeouts and two walks.

The HL preseason pitcher of the year improved to 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA.

Wet wrap: The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are in Cleveland participating in the Horizon League Championships. Both were in sixth place after the first day of action Wednesday.

The men’s 200 medley relay team of Kile Aukerman, Clement Quilliec, Matt Dassow, and Lucas Osgood finished third and set a school record (1 minute, 29.24 seconds). The 200 free relay team of Aukerman, Alec Carnell, Osgood and Alfred Pappe placed fourth.

On the women’s side, the 200 free relay team of Kortney Mullen, Nicole Holtkamp, Kristen Hayhow, and Samantha Miller took sixth. The 200 medley team of Kristen Hayhow, Kayla Fearrin, Emily Hayhow and Milller finished seventh.

The championships continue through Saturday.

Lloyd eighth: Former WSU hurdler Cassandra Lloyd, a Springfield native and the 2012 Horizon League NCAA Woman of the Year, placed eighth in the 60-meter hurdles last weekend at the USA Track & Field Indoor Championships on Sunday in Albuquerque, N.M.

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