HANOVER, Ind. – Senior Sidney Powers (Indianapolis, Ind.) gave the Hanover softball team its second seventh-inning walk-off hit in three games, as her RBI single in the bottom of the seventh capped a doubleheader sweep over Ind.-Southeast in Tuesday's home opener at Kops-Bedel Stadium.
After allowing three runs in the top of the seventh, three straight base runners reached safely giving Powers a chance to be the hero with no outs. Classmate Dabney Skutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) doubled to open the inning and sophomore Shelby Edington (New Goshen, Ind.) and freshman Ashley Swearingen (Clarksville, Ind.) then followed by reaching on an error and walk, respectively. Powers then proceeded with a base hit over the left side of the infield, securing the 6-5 victory.
Powers finished 4-for-8 at the plate during the doubleheader and accumulated six RBI on the day as well. The senior recorded her first home run of the season Tuesday, in style, as she sent a ball over the left field fence with the bases loaded in the sixth inning of Game One, ending the contest at 11-0.
In the opener, the Panthers (7-3) recorded three innings of three or more runs, highlighted by a five-run sixth. Hanover opened with three runs in the third inning as three consecutive hits, including back-to-back doubles off the wall from Skutt and senior McKenzie Writt (Franklin, Ind.), did all the damage offensively.
The 2-3-4 hitters produce most of the offense in the first half of the doubleheader, as Writt, Skutt and Edington combined to go 7-for-11 at the plate, while scoring a combined five times and driving in the first seven runs of the contest. The trio added a combined four hits and four runs in the night cap as well.
Another double from Writt scored two in the fourth inning and a two-out single from Edington scored the senior and Hanover found itself in front 6-0. Edington added another RBI in the seventh on sac fly, as she finished the day with five runs driven in.
Junior Sydney Griffin (Cambridge City, Ind.) was nearly perfect in the opener, allowing just one hit, which came in the top of the sixth inning, as she earned her second shutout of 2018. Griffin struck out 11 Grenadier (3-7) batters over 6.0 innings of work.
Freshman Lily Beurman (Evansville, Ind.) picked up her second win of the season in the night cap, allowing three earned runs on six hits. Beurman retired the first six batters she faced and did not allow a hit until the fourth inning.
The Grenadiers did scratch across an unearned run in the third, but an explosive first inning still had the Panthers in front, 3-1. Three of Hanover's first four batters in the second game recorded a hit, with Edington's double driving in two runs. The sophomore later scored on a two-out single from Powers.
Neither side could pencil in any runs over the next few frames, but a IUS score in the top of the sixth pulled them within one, 3-2. The hero from the Cabrini (Pa.) game, freshman Brittney Ralston (Lexington, Ind.), drove in a run with a pinch-hit double in the bottom of the sixth and later crossed home plate on a sac fly from Writt, extending the Blue and Red advantage to 5-2.
After a quintet of Panthers posted multiple hits in the opener, Powers Skutt and freshman Mackenzie Smith (Jeffersonville, Ind.) each recorded two in the second game. Skutt would finish the day 4-for-7 with four runs scored. Smith crossed home plate three times in the opener and totaled three hits during the doubleheader.
As a team, Hanover hit .446 on the day, while the pitching staff held IUS to a .156 batting average over two games. The Blue and Red outgained the Grenadiers in total hits Tuesday, 25-7, including an 8-2 edge in extra-base hits.
Hanover will carry its current four-game winning streak into the weekend, when they welcome Hope (Mich.), who is receiving votes in the national poll, for a noon doubleheader.
Contact: Tyler Jester