Hanover College’s softball team split its seventh doubleheader of the season, dividing a pair of 4-2 decisions against Centre College (Ky.) in Danville, Ky.
Hanover built a 4-0 lead, but had to hold on for its 4-2 victory in the first game. Centre, which has lost just two home games this season, claimed the nightcap, 4-2.
In the opener, junior pitcher Leah Kemmerer (North Vernon, Ind.) chalked up her 11th win of the season, tossing a complete-game five-hitter. Kemmerer (11-2) racked up nine strikeouts and did not walk a batter.
The Panthers, without getting a hit, scored one run in the first inning. The squad piled on three runs in the top of the seventh to extend the lead to 4-0.
Centre, however, totaled four of their five hits in the bottom half of the inning. The Colonels scored twice to cut the deficit to 4-2 and had two runners on base when Kemmerer posted a game-ending strikeout.
Junior shortstop Danielle Merrick (Eminence, Ind.) and freshman centerfielder Gabrielle Ritchey (Loogootee, Ind.) each had two hits for Hanover, which totaled eight in the contest.
Ritchey walked to lead off the game and eventually scored after moving around the bases on three consecutive infield errors.
The teams were silent until the seventh inning, when Hanover laced together three hits to stretch the lead to 4-0.
With two outs, Ritchey punched a base hit down the right-field line and sophomore second baseman Lyndsea Burke (Modoc, Ind.) reached on an error. Merrick followed with a double to score Ritchey.
Senior third baseman Shelby Overton (Greenwood, Ind.) added a single to right field to deliver Burke and Merrick.
Hanover and Centre were tied at 2-2 after four innings in the second game. The Colonels used two hits and a pair of errors to grab a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth, then added a run on three hits in the sixth for the final tally.
The Panthers (14-12) were limited to five hits and committed four fielding errors in the setback.
Hanover jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Ritchey walked to lead off the game and stole second. She later scored on Merrick’s single up the middle.
Centre (8-15) moved ahead 2-1 in the second inning, but the Panthers tied the contest with a run in the third.
Burke walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. She scored on Kemmerer’s two-out double inside the left-field line.
Senior Ashley Cochran (New Albany, Ind.) was pegged with the loss after three and two-thirds innings of relief. Cochran (1-2) gave up just two hits and a run with two strikeouts.
Hanover's seven twinbill splits is the most for the program since 2001, when the Panthers also split seven.
Published Thursday, April 10, 2014