CLERMONT, Fla. -- The Rose-Hulman Fightin' Engineers softball team kicks off their 2016 season with 10 games over a five day spread.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology enters the upcoming softball season returning nine of its top 11 hitters and three of its four pitchers from a successful 2015 campaign.
The Fightin' Engineers were picked to finish sixth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference softball standings this spring after finishing 21-13 overall last season.
Five of the team's .300 hitters from last season return to lead the offensive effort. Sophomore Jenny Miller batted .370 with 11 doubles and seven home runs, and sophomore Michelle Korf hit .338 with six doubles and three home runs for the top returning averages. Senior Marissa Stout also hit .330 with nine doubles and four home runs last season.
Sophomore Gabbi Markison and senior Jett Bender batted .311 and .306 respectively, with Markison hitting 11 doubles. Sophomore Jessica Will added a .291 batting average with 13 doubles, and junior Janel Lake rounds out the returning starters after hitting .258 as the team's starting catcher.
In the pitching circle, senior Taylor Lockhart led the team with 82.1 innings pitched and finished 7-6 with a 3.23 earned run average. Stout compiled a 6-2 record with a 4.14 ERA, Miller was 2-4 with a 2.43 ERA.
Rose-Hulman will face St. Mary's (Minn.) and Otterbein at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday.
St. Mary's has already kicked off their season in Florida, and they have a current over all record of 4-0. They have posted final scores of: 17-1, 14-2, 5-2, and 11-3. The Big Red Cardinals have played Lyndon State College (Vt.), Houghton College, and Johnson State College twice.
Otterbein has not yet started off their season, but will do so Saturday in Clermont, Fla. They return majority of their players from their 14-20 finish last season.