HCAC Senior Spotlight: Anderson Softball

HCAC Senior Spotlight: Anderson Softball

CARMEL, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC), in partnership with its 10 member institutions, is working to honor those spring sport senior student athletes whose seasons were cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each week this spring, the HCAC will showcase one of its member schools, honoring those graduating student athletes. 

Anderson University has an outstanding group of softball seniors who the HCAC and the Ravens would like to recognize.

Tara MoreyNew Palestine, Ind. – New Palestine HS – Ball State University

Major: Exercise Science

Career Bio: Tara joined the Anderson softball team as a sophomore after transferring from Ball State. In her sophomore season, Tara went 43-for-112 at the plate. She led the Ravens in batting average (.384), hits (43), stolen bases (16) and in-base percentage (.448). Tara also ranked fifth in the HCAC in stolen bases. She received all-HCAC honorable mention.

As a junior, Tara garnered first-team all-conference honors. She went 39-for-118 for a .331 batting average. Tara posted a team-high .406 on-base percentage. She also stole 12 bases. Tara received academic all-HCAC honors and was named an NFCA Scholar Athlete.

During her career, Tara went 83-for-233 for a .356 batting average. She also contributed 28 stolen bases and a .425 on-base percentage.

Favorite Memory: Her favorite memory was the first and only game this year knowing that the season was probably ending, the way everyone rallied around each other knowing we were all in the same boat.

Plans After Graduation: Tara plans to attend the University of Indianapolis graduate program.

"Tara was our spark plug; she got things started offensively for us," Coach Tony Holloway said. "Over her time here, she always was a gamer who brought out her best."

Hadley DeckerNew Haven, Ind. – New Haven HS

Major: Education

Career Bio: Last season, Hadley collected all-HCAC Honorable Mention. She was also named the HCAC All-Tournament Team. Hadley swept the NFCA National Pitcher of the Week and the Fastpitch News National Pitcher of the Week on the week of March 25th last year.

Hadley went 7-7 with five saves and a 2.46 ERA last year. She struck out 84 batters and compiled a 1.28 WHIP in 94 innings. Hadley led the conference in saves and finished fourth in the HCAC with 6.26 strikeouts per seven innings. This year, Hadley put together a four-hit shutout against Monmouth College.

During her career, Hadley has totaled 16 wins and seven saves. She fanned 4.61 batters per seven innings. Hadley received academic all-conference honors as a sophomore and junior. She was also named an NFCA Scholar Athlete as a junior.

Favorite Memory: Her favorite memory was winning the national pitcher of the week.

Plans After Graduation: Hadley plans to go into the teaching profession.

"Hadley brought a work ethic that was unmatched during her career here, which made others raise their efforts," Coach Holloway said. "A true professional will make a great difference as she enters her profession."

Emily BenefielFrankton, Ind. – Frankton HS

Major: Education

Career Bio: Emily has posted a .263 career batting average, going 30-for-114 at the plate. She has also driven nine runs in and stolen three bases. In her junior season, Emily went 22-for-80 with a .275 batting average and provided seven RBIs.

Favorite Memory: Her favorite memory was beating Macalester in extra innings last year.

Plans After Graduation: Emily plans to return to Anderson to do her student teaching and then find a job teaching.

"Emily was a true competitor who understood the game very well," Coach Holloway said. "She was a true team player who put the team in front of herself."

Kerrigan McClainPendleton, Ind. – Pendleton Heights HS

Major: Marketing

Career Bio: Kerrigan started 31 games in her junior season. She contributed 16 hits, four doubles and eight RBIs as a junior. She went 2-for-2 with a double in this year's win against Monmouth. During her career, Kerrigan has tallied 22 hits, five doubles and 10 RBIs.

Favorite Memory: Her favorite memory was making the HCAC Tournament last season.

Plans After Graduation: Kerrigan plans to go to graduate school or find a job.

"During her time here she became a true team leader on and off the field," Coach Holloway said. "She always was there to give a helping hand or just to lend her support."

Taylor LawsonNew Palestine, Ind. – New Palestine HS

Major: Education

Career Bio: Taylor has played in 43 games and started in 27. She has produced 13 hits, seven runs and four doubles in her career.

Plans After Graduation: Taylor plans to find a job in the teaching profession.

"Taylor was the person whom we could always count on to keep the team loose with her sense of humor," Coach Holloway said. "A player who was able to play more than one position well."

Blakelee SteebEminence, Ind. – Lutheran HS – Taylor University

Major: Public Relations

Career Bio: Blakelee joined the Anderson softball team as a junior after transferring from Taylor University. She went 4-4 with a 3.28 ERA last year. Blakelee earned HCAC Pitcher of the Week last year after collecting two wins. She was also named an NFCA Scholar Athlete as a junior.

Favorite Memory: Her favorite memory was the only game the Ravens played this season. After winning the first game of the season, the team found out that the rest of the season was likely going to be cancelled. Knowing everyone on the team was involved made it easier to deal with.

Plans After Graduation: Blakelee plans to look for a job in her profession.

"Blakelee came here as a transfer to step up and fill a role as one of our pitchers," Coach Holloway said. "Her team-first mentality was a true example of how she lives life."

D.J. MartzLeesburg, Ind. – Fairfield HS

Major: Exercise Science

Career Bio: D.J. has contributed a .330 batting average and a .561 slugging percentage in her career. She has totaled 76 hits, 11 doubles, 14 homers, 63 RBIs and 33 runs in her career.

D.J. earned All-HCAC Honorable Mention as a freshman. She went 17-for-52 with a .327 batting average and a .577 slugging percentage. D.J. tallied four homers and 18 RBIs.

As a sophomore, D.J. went 28-for-83 with a .337 batting average and a .566 slugging percentage. D.J. contributed five homers, four doubles, 23 RBIs and 17 runs. She finished fifth in the HCAC in homers.

During her junior season, D.J. received first-team all-HCAC honors and was named the HCAC All-Tournament Team. D.J. went 31-for-92 with a .337 batting average and a .565 slugging percentage. She produced five homers, six doubles, 21 RBIs and 10 runs. D.J. came in fifth in the HCAC in homers.

Favorite Memory: Her favorite memory was beating Macalester in extra innings last year.

Plans After Graduation: D.J. plans to attend St. Francis for a Physical Therapy degree.

"D.J. became one of our best power hitters, while becoming a great vocal leader for us," Coach Holloway said.

"The seniors as a whole had developed into a really close group," Coach Holloway added. "I feel this team was ready for a very successful year had the season not came to end because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a group who will be greatly missed by our team. It has been a been an honor to have coached such a great group of players. I know they will make a great impact on the world as they have our softball team." 

For more information on all things HCAC, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the HCAC's home on the internet at www.heartlandconf.org. Be sure to stay up to date on all of your Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference news by following @HCACDIII on Twitter and by liking the "HCAC DIII" Facebook page.