CLERMONT, Fla. – The Hanover softball team's final four games of its Florida trip were headlined by junior Shelby Edington's (New Goshen, Ind.) walk-off single in a 1-0 win over Saint Mary's (Minn.) Wednesday afternoon.
The Panthers walk-off win was its lone triumph over a two-day stretch, as the team also suffered 15-2, 8-4 and 11-3 setbacks to Milwaukee School of Engineering (Wis.), Alma (Mich.) and St. Mary's, respectively. Edington paced the offensive attack with seven hits in 12 at-bats, raising her season average to .600. Senior Carlie Roark (Hebron, Ky.) added six hits in 12 at-bats, while classmate Tori Luster (Indianapolis, Ind.) had a .429 average over four games, with one of her hits resulting in a home run.
GAME ONE RECAP – SAINT MARY'S 1
The Wednesday doubleheader started with a clutch hit from Edington and a solid pitching performance from sophomore Lily Beurman (Evansville, Ind.). Beurman struck out a career-high 11 batters to pick up her fourth career shutout. The sophomore allowed just four hits over seven innings of work.
The Cardinals had an opportunity early on, placing a runner on third with no outs in the first inning. Beurman though, recorded back-to-back strikeouts before getting out of the frame unscathed with an infield pop out. Hanover had the bases loaded in the bottom of the third but were also unable to cross home plate.
In the seventh, Beurman struck out the side in the top half of the inning, setting up Edington's heroics. Sophomore Rachel Cox (Indianapolis, Ind.) reached on an error and was later replaced on the base path by classmate Mackenzie Smith (Jeffersonville, Ind.) on a fielder's choice. Smith then moved to second on another fielder's choice before crossing home plate on Edington's single.
GAME TWO RECAP – MSOE
A five-run third helped the Raiders engineer a 6-0 lead heading into the top of the fourth inning. It was then that Luster drove in the only two runs for HC on a two-run blast. MSOE though, responded with nine additional runs in the bottom of the frame to help secure the five-inning victory.
GAME THREE RECAP – ALMA
Edington and Smith each recorded two hits in Thursday's opener and Smith was able to give HC a 1-0 lead in the top of the first after getting a base hit and advancing on a wild pitch and passed ball to score.
A three-run, two-out rally followed for the Panthers in the second, as sophomore Tori Snook (Seymour, Ind.) opened the stretch with a single. Snook and Smith would come around to score on a base hit from Edington. Sophomore Ashley Swearingen (Clarksville, Ind.) then scored in the next at-bat, as Luster drove her in with a single of her own.
Hanover took its 4-0 lead into the fourth inning, as Beurman retired nine of the first 11 batters she faced. The Scots though, posted two runs in the fourth and tacked on six additional scores in the fifth to secure the win. Alma tallied nine of its 10 hits in the game during the two-inning stretch.
GAME FOUR RECAP – SAINT MARY'S 2
The fourth game in two days saw Roark pace the Panthers with a three-for-three effort at the plate. Freshman Kiley Shedron (Cloverdale, Ind.) added two hits, while driving in all three Panther runs. Sophomore Nettie Eigel (Madison, Ind.) also recorded her first start in the circle with the Blue and Red.
Hanover jumped out to another early advantage, as Shedron's two-out base hit in the top of the first inning scored two runs. Eigel was able to work out of a jam in the bottom half of the frame to preserve the 2-0 HC lead.
Saint Mary's though rallied for two runs in the second and third innings to take a 4-2 advantage. After the deficit had extended to three runs, Shedron's single in the fifth scored Edington to pull HC within two at 5-3.
Again, the Cardinals responded with offense of their own, capitalizing on five hits and two errors in the bottom of the fifth to score six runs and end the contest at 11-3.
UP NEXT: Hanover will continue its road swing to start the 2019 season with a trip to Hope (Mich.). After breaking for over a week, the Panthers and Flying Dutch are slated for a noon doubleheader start time Saturday, March 9.
Contact: Tyler Jester