CLERMONT, Fla. – Sophomore Lily Beurman (Evansville, Ind.) struck out 16 batters over 11 innings, while junior Shelby Edington (New Goshen, Ind.) and sophomore Mackenzie Smith (Jeffersonville, Ind.) combined for seven hits at the plate as Hanover softball opened the season with a doubleheader split against Cabrini (Pa.) and Northern Vermont-Johnson Sunday afternoon.
The Panthers (1-1) dropped their opening game of the season to Cabrini, 5-4, before rallying to take a 19-0 decision in five innings against NVU-Johnson.
On the day, Edington paced the Panther offense with four hits in seven at-bats. Smith added three hits and three walks for a .667 on-base percentage through two games. The sophomore also tallied three runs and three RBI.
In the circle, Beurman started both games, striking out eight batters in each contest. The sophomore's "K" feat was even more impressive against NVU-J, as she struck out eight batters in just 4.1 innings of work.
GAME ONE RECAP – CABRINI
The Panthers were able to work out of a jam in the bottom of the first, escaping with no runs allowed and two runners left on base. With momentum on its side, HC struck first in the top of the second with a two-out, two-RBI single from junior Jennah Ruddick (McCordsville, Ind.). Senior Carlie Roark (Hebron, Ky.) and freshman Kiley Shedron (Cloverdale, Ind.) scored on the play after drawing consecutive walks earlier in the inning.
Hanover tacked on an additional run in the third and fourth frames to take a 4-1 lead. Highlighting the stretch was another two-out hit, this time by Smith, whose single scored Beurman. Shedron also drove in a run on a sacrifice bunt.
Leading 4-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Cavaliers (2-0) were able to take advantage of three hits, four consecutive walks and a Panther error to score five runs. The rally was good enough to give Cabrini the come-from-behind, walk-off win.
GAME TWO RECAP – NVU-JOHNSON
Hanover quickly bounced back from the season-opening loss by scoring 10 runs in the bottom of the first inning against the Badgers (0-2). The Panthers had their first seven batters reach base safely and took advantage of five NVU-J errors to put up the double-digit scoring frame. Highlighting the first-inning offense was a hit from senior Tori Luster (Indianapolis, Ind.) that drove in three runs.
Beurman recorded the final out in the first inning with a struck out, which started a stretch of six K's over the next nine batters. The Badgers left three runners on base over the first two innings before being retired in order during the third and fourth frames.
The Blue and Red added nine additional runs in the second inning. Sophomore Ashley Swearingen (Clarksville, Ind.) drove in two of her game-high five runs with a triple and scored in the next at-bat on a base hit from Edington. Swearingen drove in two more runs later in the frame to cap the scoring for HC.
Sophomore Nettie Eigel (Madison, Ind.) made her Hanover debut in the circle, retiring two of the three batters she faced.
The Panthers' top three hitters in the lineup, Smith, Swearingen and Edington, combined to go six-for-nine at the plate. The trio also drove in seven runs and scored eight times.
UP NEXT: Hanover will continue its Florida swing with two games Monday, Feb. 25. The Blue and Red will face Alma (Mich.) and Neumann (Pa.) at 2:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m., respectively.
Contact: Tyler Jester