Ralston's walk-off double highlights two wins on final day of Florida trip

Brittney Ralston

CLERMONT, Ind. – The Hanover softball team closed out its Florida Winter Break Trip Thursday afternoon with a pair of victories, highlighted by a walk-off double from freshman Brittney Ralston (Lexington, Ind.) in an 8-7 win over Cabrini (Pa.).

After taking a three-run advantage into the top half of the seventh inning in HC's nightcap, the Panthers (5-3) found themselves trailing 7-4 and needing to rally in their final at-bats. Six straight hits, capped by Ralston's double gave HC the four runs it needed and the 8-7 victory.

Hanover recorded a season-high 16 hits in the win over Cabrini (2-3), and were led by senior Sidney Powers (Indianapolis, Ind.), who went 3-for-4. Ralston, along with classmates Mackenzie Smith (Jeffersonville, Ind.) and Ashley Swearingen (Clarksville, Ind.), and sophomores Shelby Edington (New Goshen, Ind.) and Taylor Merrill (Brownsburg, Ind.) all added multi-hit efforts against the Cavaliers.

Merrill was the lone Panther to record multiple RBI in the second game Thursday, driving in one in the second and one more during the seventh inning rally. Powers drove in Swearingen for one of her two runs scored in the second as well, giving HC an early 2-1 advantage.

The Blue and Red added two more runs in the fourth, highlighted by a RBI single from Merrill, to go up 4-1.

Freshman Lily Beurman (Evansville, Ind.) retired six straight batters over the fifth and sixth frames, and going back to the fourth, she sat down nine of the 10 Cavaliers she faced. For the game, Beurman pitched 6.0 innings in a no-decision, allowing just one earned run on seven hits.

In the opener against Alverno (Wis.), a game HC won 6-1, the Panthers received a combined three hits from Powers and Edington. The tandem finished the day a combined 8-for-14 at the plate, with four RBI and three extra-base hits.

Junior Sydney Griffin (Cambridge City, Ind.), who entered the second half of the doubleheader in the seventh inning, pitched a complete game against the Inferno (3-6), allowing one run on two hits. Griffin also struck out nine Alverno batters and finished the day retiring 12 batters via the punch-out.

The Panthers posted bookend innings of three runs, scoring three in the first and three more in the top of the seventh, to secure its second win over the Inferno on the trip. Five of the first seven batters to come to the plate for HC in the first recorded hits and a single from senior Dabney Skutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) drove in two runs. Skutt would later score on a double from Edington.

Alverno tallied its lone run in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it 3-1, but senior McKenzie Writt (Franklin, Ind.) drove in two in the seventh and later scored on a sac fly from Edington to give the Blue and Red six runs for the contest.

Hanover will head back North for its home opener Tuesday, March 6, when the team welcomes IU-Southeast for a 3 p.m. doubleheader.

Contact: Tyler Jester