ANDERSON, Ind. – Behind a quartet of three-run innings, as well as a late-game rally, the Hanover College softball team took both sets of a road doubleheader at Anderson Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers rallied in Game One to win 7-4 in 10 innings and then took Game Two by a count of 7-5. Hanover's victories vault the Panthers (11-15, 4-6 HCAC) up to sixth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings, just one spot shy of the final qualifying slot for the postseason tournament.
A trio of players for the Blue and Red recorded three hits on the day, including sophomore Brittney Ralston (Hanover, Ind.), who finished 3-for-6 with two runs scored. Junior Shelby Edington (New Goshen, Ind.) and sophomore Mackenzie Smith (Jeffersonville, Ind.) each finished 3-for-9, while combining for seven RBI.
In the circle, sophomore Lily Beurman (Evansville, Ind.) saw action in both games, picking up a win and a save. Beurman accumulated 11.0 innings total, allowing three earned runs and striking out 10.
GAME ONE RECAP (W, 7-4 – 10 INN)
Beurman logged 10 of her innings pitched in Game One, going the distance, allowing four runs -- three earned -- and striking out eight Anderson batters. Ralston and junior Taylor Merrill (Brownsburg, Ind.) each logged two hits for the Panther offense.
The Blue and Red found themselves in a 3-0 deficit heading into the seventh and final inning of regulation. With just two hits through six innings, HC had its first three batters reach via a single to load the bases. Freshman Kiley Shedron (Cloverdale, Ind.) and junior Jennah Ruddick (McCordsville, Ind.) each drew bases-loaded walks to cut the AU lead down to 3-2.
Sophomore Rachel Cox (Indianapolis, Ind.) then drove in the game-tying run on a groundout to second base. Beurman went on to retire the Ravens (11-9, 3-5 HCAC) in order in the bottom half of the frame to force extra innings.
After a scoreless eighth inning, Smith drove in a run with a two-out base hit that scored Ralston in the ninth. Anderson though, crossed home plate once in the inning as well, forcing the game into a 10th frame.
Edington opened the scoring for HC in what would be a three-run 10th with a double to center field. Merrill's second hit scored two runs, as her single went through the left side of the infield. The Ravens received a leadoff single, but Beurman did not allow another ball to leave the infield, retiring three straight and securing the win.
GAME TWO RECAP (W, 7-5)
Senior Allison Wiseman (New Albany, Ind.) picked up her fourth win of the season and second in as many days as she went the first 6.0 innings, allowing four earned runs and striking out three. Beurman pitched the seventh, tallying two K's during her second save of the spring.
The Panthers took an early 3-0 lead after scoring three times in the top of the second. Merrill drove in two runs and Smith produced the third with an infield base hit. Edington and senior Carlie Roark (Hebron, Ky.) started the rally with back-to-back singles to lead off the inning.
Leading by just one run after an AU home run in the third, Edington put HC up four, 6-2, with her third longball of the season. The junior's three-run home run came with two outs in the top of the fifth. Beurman had reached on an error with two outs and Cox followed with a double to set up Edington's heroics.
Smith added an RBI single in the top of the sixth, as Ralston crossed home plate to put HC in front 7-3. Anderson struck for two runs in the seventh before Beurman relieved Wiseman. The sophomore struck out the first two batters she faced and then recorded a groundout for the win.
UP NEXT: After a busy week, featuring six conference games, the Panthers will be off for a week, until facing Bluffton at home on Saturday, April 20. The 1 p.m. doubleheader will also be HC's Senior Day.
Contact: Tyler Jester