Softball earns key split against Bluffton

Hanover College’s softball team split a key Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader with Bluffton University (Ohio) to remain in the hunt for a spot in the league’s four-team post-season tournament. The squads tangled Saturday, April 20, at the L.S. Ayres Athletic Complex.

Hanover shut out Bluffton, 8-0, in the first game. The Beavers rolled to a 10-2 win the second game.

Sophomore pitcher Leah Kemmerer (North Vernon, Ind.) limited Bluffton to just one hit in the Panthers’ six-inning triumph in the opener.

Kemmerer surrendered only a base in the fourth inning while raising her record to 8-4 this season. She walked one and racked up eight strikeouts.

Hanover’s offense generated a season-high 15 hits. Sophomore shortstop Danielle Merrick (Eminence, Ind.) and sophomore designated hitter Breann Truelove (Loogootee, Ind.) had three hits apiece to lead the Panthers' attack.

Merrick, who leads the team with a .369 average, was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and one run-batted-in. Truelove, meanwhile, was 3-for-3 with three runs and one RBI.

Sophomore rightfielder Chelsie Nuhring (Lynnville, Ind.) and freshman leftfielder Lyndsea Burke (Modoc, Ind.) added two hits apiece.

Hanover vs. Bluffton (Ohio) game one statistics

Bluffton (17-15; 9-5 HCAC), sparked by a six-run second inning, jumped out to a 10-0 lead after four innings and rolled the second game.

Hanover (12-14; 7-5 HCAC) had just two hits in the outing, but both came in the fourth inning when the Panthers scored twice.

Burke punched a single up the middle. Kemmerer followed two batters later with a two-out homer – her second of the season.

Sophomore hurler Christina Davidson (Cincinnati, Ohio) was tagged for 10 hits and nine runs in two innings. Davidson (2-7) posted one strikeout before giving way to junior Ashley Cochran (New Albany, Ind.).

Cochran allowed two hits and a run through three innings in the circle.

Hanover vs. Bluffton (Ohio) game two statistics