Hanover College's softball team split a non-conference doubleheader against Spalding University (Ky.) in Louisville, Ky. The Panthers captured the first game, 5-3, but fell in the nightcap, 18-13.
Hanover and Spalding combined for just 11 hits in the opener. The Golden Eagles grabbed a 2-1 lead after two innings. The Panthers plated three runs in the third inning to take a 4-2 lead, then held on to notch the squad's third consecutive win.
Junior hurler Leah Kemmerer (North Vernon, Ind.) raised her record to 6-1 this season with a complete-game outing. Kemmerer allowed just five hits and three runs through seven innings. She tallied 11 strikeouts.
Junior shortstop Danielle Merrick (Eminence, Ind.) was 2-for-4 with two runs-batted-in and one scored. Freshman outfielder Gabrielle Ritchey (Loogootee, Ind.) walked twice, scored a pair of runs and had two stolen bases. Senior third baseman Shelby Overton (Greenwood, Ind.) jacked a solo homer.
Ritchey walked, swiped second and scored on an error to get Hanover on the scoreboard in the first inning.
Spalding scored twice in the bottom of the second, but the Panthers countered with three runs in the top of the third.
Ritchey led off the frame with a walk and sophomore second baseman Lyndsea Burke (Modoc, Ind.) followed with a bunt single. Merrick swatted a two-run double to left field. Sophomore designated hitter Tori Wilson (Camby, Ind.) pushed Merrick across the plate with a base hit up the middle.
Hanover extended the lead to 5-2 when Overton led off the sixth inning with a solo shot. The home run marks her first of the season and seventh in her career.
Spalding went down in the order in the sixth, but opened the seventh with a home run to creep within 5-3. Kemmerer, however, retired the next three batters to snuff out a rally.
Hanover and Spalding combined for 33 hits and 31 runs in the second contest. The Golden Eagles led 7-2 after the first inning and stretched the margin to 18-5 after four innings.
The Panthers (9-7) scored eight runs in the top of the fifth to pull within 18-13, but neither team would score the rest of the way.
Junior outfielder Chelsie Nuhring (Lynnville, Ind.) led Hanover's 11-hit effort at the plate with three hits. Wilson and freshman first baseman Mattie Varvel (Fillmore, Ind.) added two hits apiece.
Nuhring finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Varvel was 2-for-3 with a double, three runs-batted-in and one run scored. Wilson was 2-for-5 and scored a pair of runs.
Kemmerer belted her first home run of the season, knocked in a pair of runs, walked and scored twice.
Spalding (7-10) led 8-3 after two innings, but Varvel smacked a two-run double for Hanover in the third inning to cut the deficit to 8-5.
The Golden Eagles answered with five runs in the third inning and five more in the fourth to stretch the advantage to 18-5.
The Panthers, within one out of dropping the game on the run rule, mounted the eight-run charge in the fifth inning.
Hanover collected five of the squad's 11 hits in the stanza. Sophomore outfielder Paige Starling (Camby, Ind.) poked a base hit up the middle to score two runs and Kemmerer later belted a two-run homer to centerfield to spark the rally.
Freshman pitcher Anna Phillippe (Greenfield, Ind.) was pegged with the setback after working two-thirds of an inning. Phillippe (1-2) surrendered seven runs on six hits.
The 31 combined runs mark the most for Hanover's program since a 16-15 victory against Franklin College, March 23, 2010. The Panthers totaled 32 runs in a shutout win against Kentucky State University, April 7, 1994.
Published Wednesday, March 26, 2014