Beavers Look to Build on 2017 Success

Beavers Look to Build on 2017 Success

The Blackburn College Softball Team, aka “Team BC”, is coming off of an exciting 13 win season. Team BC is very enthusiastic about a new beginning and hopes to take another large step this year.

In his third season as head coach, Kerry Crum is ready to continue building the success of this program. 

After knocking off two conference contenders and surprising many teams in the SLIAC, the beavers are thrilled to return 10 players. In addition to the returners, Team BC will add 9 new talented recruits to round out the roster. 

The Beavers are excited to have a complete pitching roster this season. Returning this season will be junior, Jensen Ballinger (Vincennes, IN) who was a 9-game winner last season, and will lead a talented pitching staff. Joining her will be junior Halle Fransen (Pearl City, IL/Highland CC), sophomore Baylee Hughes (Carlinville, IL/St. Gregory’s University), and freshman Brooke Daniels (Lapel, IN). Adding onto Ballinger’s experience will be Fransen who transferred in from Highland Community College, as well as Hughes who transferred in from St. Gregory’s.

The Beavers will also return four strong bats to their lineup. Leading Team BC this season will be; Senior Daniele Burnell (Lapel, IN) who was named to the SLIAC All-Conference 1st Team, averaged .432, hit 3 homeruns and 33 RBI’s. Joining Burnell are fellow seniors Hannah Goett (Springfield, IL) and Allison Howard (Winchester, IL). Goett was named to the SLIAC All-Conference 2nd Team, batted .430, hit 3 homeruns, and 28 RBI’s. Howard batted .305 and contributed to the team’s success with 21 RBI’s. Sophomore Lexie Yockey (Pleasant Plains, IL) rounds out the list of returning bats for the Beavers. Yockey hit .383 and had 20 RBI’s. She had an impressive freshman that allowed her to receive votes for Newcomer of the Year.

With the addition of the new recruits, offensive production should improve dramatically.

Defensively, Sophomore Abby Frerichs (Litchfield, IL) returns to anchor the outfield. Team BC will also turn to sophomore Baylee Hughes to lead the infield at shortstop.

Crum is hopeful that this year’s team will be the best defensive unit the program has seen in a long time.

Rounding out the list of returners will be, Senior Bobbi Morris (Westville, IL), Junior Liz Johnston (Adrian, MI), and Sophomore Jordan Wood (Lincoln, IL).

The Beavers will open up their season with a trip to Arkansas for three days of play. Then they will venture on a long bus trip to play new competition over Spring Break in Ft. Myers, Florida. The team will compete in 8 games, and then will play two more in Tennessee on their way home before opening up in SLIAC play.