HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover softball team dropped both sets of its Senior Day, home doubleheader with Defiance Saturday, falling 11-4 and 4-3 at Kops-Bedel Stadium.
Hanover honored its three senior athletes prior to the first pitch and on their big day, Dabney Skutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) and McKenzie Writt (Franklin, Ind.) each posted three hits. The third senior, Sidney Powers (Indianapolis, Ind.), added a base hit in the opener as well.
Sophomore Sydney Griffin (Cambridge City, Ind.) was called on to pitch in relief in the opener and also started the second game, as she struck out 10 Defiance (22-10, 10-4 HCAC) batters over 8.2 innings of work. Griffin did not record a decision in either contest but did leave with a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth of Game Two.
Also finding success at the plate Saturday was freshman Rachel Cox (Indianapolis, Ind.), who went 3-for-6, including a 2-for-3 effort in the night cap. Junior Carlie Roark (Hebron, Ky.) picked up both of her hits in the opener, where she also scored two of her three runs.
Hanover (17-17, 5-9 HCAC) got the scoring started in Game Two of the doubleheader, as RBI base hits from Cox and sophomore Bailey Miller Charlestown, Ind.) put the Blue and Red in front 2-0 after two-complete. A two-run home run from the Yellow Jackets in the next half inning though tied the contest at two-all.
After Griffin worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fourth, the Panthers carried that momentum into the bottom half of the frame, where another base hit from Cox drove in Miller, giving HC a 3-2 advantage.
Defiance though, tacked on one run each in the fifth and sixth innings to capture a 4-3 lead. Hanover was held to just three hits over its final three at-bats and left the tying and go-ahead runs stranded at first and second base in the bottom of the seventh.
The Panthers also took the first lead in the opening game, as Powers drove in Skutt with a single to center field. Powers' hit was the third consecutive single for HC to open the game.
After Defiance tied it up in the top of the second, HC recaptured the lead, 2-1, as Roark scored on a throwing error in the bottom of the frame. The Yellow Jackets responded though, tallying seven hits and seven runs in the top of the third to secure an 8-2 advantage on the scoreboard.
Skutt pulled the Panthers within four in the fourth, 8-4, as her double to left center scored Cox and Roark. However, HC could not scratch across anymore runs, while DC added two in the fifth and one in the seventh for the seven-run victory.
Unfortunately for Hanover, the two losses Saturday ended any chances the squad had at receiving one of the five bids into next weekend's HCAC Tournament. The Panthers will close out the season when they host Anderson for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m., Sunday, April 29.
Contact: Tyler Jester