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Puterbaugh named Pitcher of the Year, three other Foresters recognized by league

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The Crossroads League has announced its 2016 softball awards and headlining the news is HU senior Emily Puterbaugh as the league’s Pitcher of the Year.

Hailing from Petersburg, Mich. (Summerfield HS), the HU ace currently boasts a 1.05 ERA and is holding opponents to a .181 batting average. To date, Puterbaugh (19-4) has pitched 160.1 innings, striking out 162 batters while surrendering 105 hits and a mere 23 walks.

As one of the Crossroads League’s most feared hurlers, Puterbaugh is 16-2 among her league foes and ranks first in the conference in six different pitching categories in addition to being among the league’s top five in six other pitching categories.   

Joining Puterbaugh on the All-Conference team is junior Natalie McGuire and sophomore Alyssa Hiple.

McGuire (Elwood, Ind., Frankton HS) currently leads HU in hitting (.413) and on base percentage (.480) to rank 7th and 4th among her league peers. For the year, she has logged 45 hits including nine for extra bases, 24 runs and 17 RBI. Defensively, the junior shortstop ranks 3rd in the conference in assists per game (2.46). She boasts a .932 fielding percentage having committed 13 errors in 46 games.

As HU’s most dangerous hitter, Hiple carries a .357 batting average and has slugged out a team-best 60 hits which includes 14 doubles, a triple and six dingers. The Huntington native (Huntington North HS) also leads the team in RBI (37), total bases (94), runs (34) and slugging percentage (.560). 

Sophomore Audra Klopfenstein (was also recognized by the Crossroads League as an Honorable Mention All-Conference honoree. She leads the Foresters in steals with 17 and currently ranks second in hitting (.375), on base percentage (.421) and hits (57).

The right fielder has been perfect defensively this season and for her efforts was named to the league’s Gold Glove Team. She sits atop the conference in fielding percentage (1.00) while logging 39 putouts and one assist through 48 games.

The Foresters (33-15) head into the Crossroads League tournament as the No. 2 seed. They face 7th-seeded Mount Vernon on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. at Taylor University in first round action of the tourney.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 39 NAIA All-America honors and 234 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.