CLERMONT, FLA. - The Panther softball team came out swinging to open the 2020 campaign Sunday afternoon as they defeated Cabrini 2-0 in the opener before falling in the night cap with Alma 11-2.
The Blue and Red (1-1 overall) were led on the afternoon by junior Rachel Cox (Indianapolis, Ind.) who finished the day going 5-for-7 at the dish with a run scored. In the circle, junior Lily Beurman (Evansville, Ind.) registered a strong showing pitching a complete one hit shutout with 12 strikouts.
In the season opener with Cabrini, the Blue and Red struck early as lead off batter Rachel Cox singled through the right side before freshman Kensie Bradley (Greenfield, Ind.) brought the big stick. The freshman put the ball on a rope to left center scoring Cox from first base for the early 1-0 lead. Hanover tacked on the games final run on the next at bat with an RBI from pitcher Lily Beurman.
Beurman dominated the remainder of the game in the circle for the Blue and Red as she finished the contest with a game-high 12 strikeouts, just two shy of her career-best. The sophomore pitched a one hit shutout en route to her first win of the season. Hanover finished the contest with two runs on eight hits and two RBI.
The night cap saw Alma load the bases in the bottom of the first inning before freshman Paige Knowling (New Market, Ind.) was able to pitch out of the jam allowing just one run to score.
Hanover responded in the next half inning as sophomore Kiley Shedron (Cloverdale, Ind.) led it off with a single to right field before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt. She would score off the bat of freshman Katherine Dickinson (Francisco, Ind.) who charted her first career RBI, knotting the contest at 1-1.However, Alma used a nine run second inning to push the difference to 10-1.
The Panthers continued to battle using patience at the plate to cut the deficit in the top of the third inning. Senior Shelby Edington (New Goshen, Ind.) got it started with a double to deep center before scoring on a freshman Kendra Hutchison (Lafayette, Ind.) RBI up the middle that pulled Hanover within 10-2. But again the Scots responded matching the Panther run with one of their own.
The Blue and Red scored the games final run in the top of the fifth inning following an Alma miscue. Hanover plated three runs on nine hits led by Hutchison and Dickinson with an RBI apiece.
The Panthers return to action on Monday, February 24 as they take on Cabrini at 10 AM followed by Northern Vermont-Johnson at 12:15 PM.