Game Time...Northwestern College is scheduled to play its home opener on Tuesday, March 18, hosting Bellevue in a non-conference double-header beginning at 4pm. Northwestern is 10-9 this season and is on a two-game win streak heading into Tuesday. Bellevue has won five straight games and is 8-5 on the year. Listen live to the games via the NWC webcast at the following link: Listen Now! or follow the live stats at this link: Live Stats for game 1!
All-Time...Northwestern is 4-17 all-time against Bellevue and has lost seven straight against the Bruins. Last year, Bellevue swept Northwestern 7-0 and 2-1.
Scouting Bellevue...The Bruins were ranked 20th in the NAIA preseason poll and have won five straight games after a 3-5 start to the season. Bellevue is 8-5 heading into Tuesday's doubleheader, defeating Houghton in one game and sweeping doubleheaders against Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) and Benedictine (Kan.).
Michala Cimino begins her fifth season as the head coach of Bellevue and returns five starters in the field and two of its top three pitchers off a 2013 team that finished second in the MCAC regular season with a 14-3 record, 42-11 overall. The Bruins finished second to Central Baptist (Ark.) but both qualified for the NAIA Softball National Championship where Bellevue finished 3-2, losing to Oklahoma City to end the year. Bellevue is 61-4 in MCAC play since 2009 and has won 11 conference titles.
Bellevue is hitting .292 as a team, scoring just over four runs per game. Alyssa Matoba is one of the returning starters and leads the team with a .459 batting average, scoring seven runs this season. Another returning starter, Shelby Kindelin, is hitting .340 with 10 runs and 4 RBIs. Augusta Ratliff (.316) and Katy Shupe (.314) are the other top hitters for Bellevue.
The Bruins pitching staff sports a 1.95 team ERA and is giving up 2.5 runs per game. Taylor Mohler (4-2, 1.58 ERA) and Kindelin (1-1, 2.28 ERA) are the top returning pitchers.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders have won two straight games, closing the Evangel Tournament with victories over Oklahoma Wesleyan and Midland. They are 10-9 overall.
Northwestern is hitting .274 as a team, scoring nearly four runs per game. Clare Ipema is the top hitter so far this season, recording a .420 batting average with 21 hits and 11 runs scored. Lindsey Remien (.341) and Laura Hurley (.340) both have four doubles and Hurley is second on the team with 12 RBIs. Alex Price has a team-high 13 RBIs through 19 games.
The Red Raiders pitching staff is giving up just under three runs per game and has a 1.83 team ERA. Morgan Means is 3-2 with a 1.15 ERA and Katie VandeVoort is 2-2 with a 1.93 ERA.
Up Next...Northwestern College will play College of Saint Mary (Neb.) in a doubleheader on Thursday, March 20 at 3/5pm.
# 20 | Third Base/First Base
Junior from Canton, S.D.
# 4 | Outfielder
Junior from Merrillville, Ind.
# 13 | Pitcher/First Base
Sophomore from Council Bluffs, Iowa