Hanover College's softball squad used two late-inning rallies to sweep a doubleheader against Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Ind.
Hanover scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning to earn a 4-3 victory in the first game. The Panthers trailed 7-2 in the fifth inning of the second contest before roaring back to win 10-9 in nine innings.
Junior pitcher Leah Kemmerer (North Vernon, Ind.) picked up the victory in both games to raise her record to 5-1 this season. Kemmerer tossed a complete game in the opener, then worked two and two-thirds innings in relief to help the Panthers take the second outing.
Hanover, now 8-6 overall, totaled just four hits in the first contest. The Panthers scratched out three in the fifth inning to spur the decisive three-run rally.
In the fifth, sophomore second baseman Lyndsea Burke (Modoc, Ind.) smacked a two-run double to tie the game at 3-3. Junior shortstop Danielle Merrick (Eminence, Ind.) followed with a single to drive in Burke with the eventual winning run.
Kemmerer allowed four hits through the closing three innings, but did not surrender a run to nail down the victory. She finished with an eight-hitter, issuing one walk with six strikeouts.
Freshman centerfielder Gabrielle Ritchey (Loogootee, Ind.) had a base hit and scored two of the Panthers’ runs. Burke and Kemmerer each had a double.
Hanover led 2-1 before Indiana Southeast blew the second game open with a six-run fifth inning.
The Panthers, however, eased back into the game. The squad plated three runs in the sixth and added two more in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 7-7 and force extra innings.
Kemmerer swatted a sacrifice fly to push Hanover ahead 8-7 in the eighth, but the Grenadiers (6-7) countered with one in the bottom half of the inning.
In the top of the ninth, freshman first baseman Mattie Varvel (Fillmore, Ind.), who had been placed on second to start the frame, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and later scored on a passed ball to nudge the Panthers ahead, 9-8.
After an infield error and passed ball, Ritchey hit a single to the left side of the infield to push freshman outfielder Michaela Corbin (Kendallville, Ind.) across the plate to give Hanover a 10-8 lead.
Indiana Southeast (6-7) threatened in the bottom of the ninth.
The Grenadiers scored to cut the margin to 10-9, then loaded the bases with just one out. Kemmerer, however, coaxed a pop up to Merrick and a grounder back to the circle to lock up the come-from-behind victory.
Hanover’s offense generated a season-high 18 hits. Burke led the attack, going 3-for-6 with two runs and a career-high four runs-batted-in.
Ritchey and senior third baseman Shelby Overton (Greenwood, Ind.) each had three hits, one RBI and one run scored. Sophomore outfielder Paige Starling (Mooresville, Ind.), Merrick and Kemmerer had two hits apiece.
Freshman Anna Phillippe (New Palestine, Ind.) pitched the first four and one-third innings, scattering 10 hits and five runs. Junior Christina Davidson (Cincinnati, Ohio) took over in the fifth inning and gave up three hits and two runs.
Published Tuesday, March 18, 2014