ANDERSON, S.C. – Stellar pitching and a strong offensive performance lifted the 20th-ranked Anderson softball team to a doubleheader sweep, 8-0 and 10-0, past visiting Lees-McRae Sunday afternoon at Smethers Field.
“Whenever you win, you’re happy,” said Anderson head coach Tommy Hewitt. “Especially in the opener and you don’t know how you are going to play. Our pitching was really good. All three pitchers had good movement. I thought we played well defensively, but got off to a slow start with the bat. All in all, when you win two, it’s been a good day.”
Anderson improved to 2-0 on the young season, while Lees-McRae slipped to 0-4. Three Trojan hurlers combined to shut down the Lees-McRae offense, holding the Bobcats hitless through 10 innings and did not issue a walk while striking out 13, as they faced 31 batters through the two five-inning contests. The Anderson offense blasted four home runs on the day, while also ripping four doubles.
Anderson 8, Lees-McRae 0 (5 innings)
Senior shortstop Abby Child was a perfect 3-for-3 in the opener, including a double, and scored twice. Senior first baseman Danielle Swygert notched a run-scoring double, single and a walk, while senior catcher Laura Jansky added a pair of singles and a walk in three trips to the plate. Junior second baseman Jessica Neidigh blasted a three-run homer to key a four-run fourth inning.
Junior hurler Katelynn Howser did not allow a hit and did not issue a walk in four innings of work to earn the win in her debut for the Black and Gold, with freshman Augie Pena tossing a perfect inning of relief in the fifth frame, while striking out two of the three batters she faced.
The Trojans broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the bottom of the second inning, as nine batters came to the plate and AU capitalized on three consecutive two-out singles. Anderson again batted around in the third inning, with Neidigh highlighting the frame with a three-run shot over the right-field fence, giving AU an eight-run lead.
Anderson 10, Lees-McRae 0 (5 innings)
Sophomore center fielder Molly Child was 2-for-3, with a two-run homer in the nightcap, while Jansky added two more singles and crossed the plate once. Senior Charlotte Sieber added a two-run double in the third inning, with newcomer Courtney Czentnar recording a three-run home run in the decisive fourth inning. Senior catcher Carly Hudson tallied a two-run single in the fourth inning and junior Rebecca Martin blasted a solo home run over the left-field fence.
Freshman Lauren Rudesheim got the start in the circle and struck out five in four innings of no-hit, no-walk softball. Pena again struck out two in an inning of relief.
Molly Child staked Anderson to a quick 2-0 lead with a one-out home run beyond the center-field fence in the bottom of the first inning, and the Trojans added two more runs in the third frame on Sieber’s two-run double to the gap in left-center.
The Trojans put the game out of reach with six runs in the bottom of the fourth, as Hudson’s two-out seeing-eye single back up the middle plated both Molly Child and Abby Child. Two batters later, Czentnar lifted a three-run shot over the left-field fence to score Swygert and Hudson. Martin followed with her homer to left to finish the scoring.
Anderson will get back on the diamond on Thursday, when the Trojans visit North Greenville. First-pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.