Softball splits conference-opening doubleheader with Franklin

Lily Beurman

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover College softball team opened Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with a doubleheader split at home against Franklin Wednesday afternoon.

The Panthers took Game One, 7-1, before falling 14-3 (5 innings) in the night cap. Both Hanover Franklin are now 8-10 overall (1-1 HCAC) after Wednesday's results.

GAME ONE RECAP (W, 7-1)

The Blue and Red received another stellar performance by sophomore Lily Beurman (Evansville, Ind.) in the circle, as she tossed a complete-game, allowing one run on six hits. Beurman conceded just two hits over the final four innings, a stretch that also included three of her four strikeouts. The sophomore improved to 6-5 on the season, lowering her earned run average to 2.09.

Offensively, HC was first to strike, as senior Carlie Roark (Hebron, Ky.) drove in sophomore Mackenzie Smith (Jeffersonville, Ind.) with a base hit. Junior Shelby Edington (New Goshen, Ind.), who had a single of her own earlier in the inning, was thrown out at home on the Roark play.

The Grizzlies knotted the game at one-all in the top of the second, but the Blue and Red responded with three more runs in the bottom half of the inning. Taking advantage of three FC errors, Smith, junior Jennah Ruddick (McCordsville, Ind.) and sophomore Rachel Cox (Indianapolis, Ind.) each drove in one run. Cox was 3-for-4 in the opener, part of a 4-for-6 day at the plate. Hanover led 4-1 through two complete.

Still leading by three runs, the Panthers did the rest of their damage in the fifth. Beurman aided her cause with an RBI single to center, scoring Cox, while senior Tori Luster (Indianapolis, Ind.) brought home Beurman and freshman Kiley Shedron (Cloverdale, Ind.) in the next at-bat with a double to left center. All three runs came with two outs in the inning.

Overall, Hanover enjoyed a 10-6 edge in total hits. The Panthers also scored five of their seven runs with two outs.

GAME TWO RECAP (L, 14-3)

Franklin jumped out to an early advantage in Game Two and never looked back, taking the contest 14-3 in five innings. The Grizzlies took advantage of four Hanover fielding errors in the top of the first, adding three hits to tally five runs.

Ruddick brought HC back within three runs in the second, 5-2, as she drove in two with a single up the middle. Luster and Shedron scored on the extra-base hit. Franklin though, tacked on five more runs in the top of the third to take a 10-2 lead.

Roark singled through the right side in the fourth, bringing home Ruddick for what would be HC's final run of the game. The Grizzlies added four additional runs in the top of the fifth to secure the win.

Smith led the Panther offense with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate. Franklin though, logged a 16-6 edge in hits.

UP NEXT: Conference play continues this weekend for HC, as the team hosts Manchester for two games, beginning at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 6.

Contact: Tyler Jester

jestert@hanover.edu