Junior pitchers Leah Kemmerer (North Vernon, Ind.) and Christina Davidson (Cincinnati, Ohio) keyed the Hanover College softball squad’s sweep of Defiance College (Ohio) in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference twinbill.
Kemmerer tied a Hanover single-season record while leading the Panthers to a 3-2 victory in the first game. Davidson tossed her first collegiate shutout to propel the squad to a 5-0 win in game two.
Kemmerer (13-2) allowed just three hits and no earned runs in the first game, notching her 13th win of the season to match Hanover’s single-season mark. The effort ties former standout Ruth Hudgens, who posted a 13-6 record for the Panthers in 2000.
Freshman centerfielder Gabrielle Ritchey (Loogootee, Ind.) walked to lead off Hanover’s first inning. She stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice and scored on a wild pitch.
Defiance used two hits and pair of errors to take a 2-0 lead in the second inning.
The Panthers tied the game in the third when sophomore leftfielder Paige Starling (Mooresville, Ind.) singled, advanced to second on a sacrifice and crossed the plate on a two-out base hit to left field off the bat of junior shortstop Danielle Merrick (Eminence, Ind.).
Hanover, held to just four hits in the outing, plated the game-winner in the sixth. Sophomore second baseman Lyndsea Burke (Modoc, Ind.) led off the frame with a double down the right field line. She advanced to third on an infield miscue and eventually scored on the Yellow Jackets’ second error in the inning.
Kemmerer, who finished with seven strikeouts, retired Defiance in order in the seventh to lock up her record-tying victory.
Davidson (3-6) held Defiance to only four hits in the second game. She walked one, fanned two and allowed runners to reach scoring position in four innings, but did not yield a run.
Ritchey gave the Panthers an early 1-0 lead. She walked to start the first inning, swiped second and cruised to third on a sacrifice bunt. She scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Merrick.
The Panthers (17-13; 6-4 HCAC) added four runs in the sixth inning.
With no outs and runners on second and third, freshman first baseman Mattie Varvel (Fillmore, Ind.) lofted a ball over the fence in left-center field for her first collegiate homer – a three-run blast – to nudge Hanover’s lead to 4-0.
Junior rightfielder Chelsea Nuhring (Lynnville, Ind.) was hit by a pitch and later scored on an infield hit by Ritchey and an error for the final tally.
Ritchey and senior third baseman Shelby Overton (Greenwood, Ind.) each had two hits and the Panthers totaled eight in the victory.
With the loss, Defiance fell to 6-17 overall and 2-10 in the league.
Published Friday, April 18, 2014