Softball concludes season with doubleheader sweep over Anderson

Lily Beurman

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover softball team closed out its 2018 season at home Sunday with a pair of victories over Anderson, winning 6-0 and 8-7.

Hanover finishes the season with a 19-17 overall record and a 7-9 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference mark. Anderson concludes its campaign 10-26 overall and 3-13 in league play.

Freshman Lily Beurman (Evansville, Ind.) highlighted Hanover's efforts in the pitching circle Sunday, earning her third complete-game shutout of the season in the opener and her first career save in the night cap. Beurman allowed just four hits in the opener, while striking out six Raven batters. She then came in for the final out of the second contest, recording a groundout to secure the victory for HC.

Game Two starter, junior Sydney Griffin (Cambridge City, Ind.), picked up the win by striking out seven over 6.2 innings of work. Griffin finishes the season with an 11-8 record.

In their final collegiate games, seniors Dabney Skutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) and McKenzie Writt (Franklin, Ind.) combined to go 9-for-18 at the plate (.500), with both players recording one game with three hits Sunday. Skutt, who was 4-for-8, added a pair of RBI and runs scored as well. Writt paced the Panthers with five hits on the day, including three in the doubleheader opener. The third senior, Sidney Powers (Indianapolis, Ind.), went 1-for-3 in Game Two, driving in a run in the third inning.

Also enjoying strong efforts offensively were sophomore Bailey Miller (Charlestown, Ind.) and freshman Rachel Cox (Indianapolis, Ind.). Miller was 4-for-5 over the two games and scored a team-high five runs. Cox was 2-for-4 with three runs scored, giving the duo eight of HC's 14 runs Sunday.

In the opening game, Beurman worked around two fielding errors by the Panthers to escape a bases-loaded jam unscathed. The freshman then retired the Ravens in order in the second and third innings before HC supported her with some offense. Powers and Writt both drove in runs in the bottom of the third, as HC led 2-0.

Cox then singled in the fourth inning and Miller, who was standing on first base at the time, advanced to third and then scored on a fielding error by the AU outfield. The Panthers took advantage of another error by the Raven outfielders in the fifth, as freshman Brittney Ralston (Lexington, Ind.) scored on a Writt double. Hanover led 4-0 after five-complete.

In the sixth, which capped four consecutive innings of run-scoring for HC, Skutt scored Miller with a single up the middle and Cox crossed home plate later in the frame on an RBI groundout from classmate Mackenzie Smith (Jeffersonville, Ind.). Hanover's 6-0 lead would hold up as the final score after Beurman forced a pair of pop outs and a strike out in the top of the seventh.

Anderson was the first to score in Game Two, scratching across two runs in the top of the third inning. The lead was short-lived though, as the Panthers responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. Smith drove in two of her three runs in the game on a double to left center and the freshman later scored on a base hit from Powers.

Hanover added three more runs in the fourth, highlighted by an RBI single from Ralston to right field. The Blue and Red led 6-3 after four-complete.

In the fifth, freshman Ashley Swearingen (Clarksville, Ind.) scored her second run of the contest on an error and Skutt drove in an additional run with a single to center. The two scores put HC in front by five, 8-3, heading into the sixth.

The Ravens attempted a comeback in their final at-bats, scoring four runs on six hits in the seventh, but Beurman induced a ground out to third with two runners on to deny Anderson from tying it up or even taking the lead.

With the wins Sunday, head coach Cori Collinsworth becomes the first coach in program history to finish their first season at the helm with a winning overall record. The only other Hanover softball coach to go at least .500 in their debut season was Nancy Plantz (16-16) in 2003. The Blue and Red have also posted .500 or better winning percentages for the fifth consecutive season, which is the longest stretch in program history.

Contact: Tyler Jester