ANDERSON, S.C. – With the pitching staff surrendering just one earned run and the offense blasting four home runs on the afternoon, the Anderson University softball team swept a nonconference doubleheader past Chowan, 8-0 and 9-1, Sunday afternoon at Smethers Field.
Anderson (6-0) extended its season-opening win streak to six games, marking the Trojans’ best start for a season since the 2010 squad won its first seven contests. Chowan suffered its sixth consecutive setback to start the season.
“Those were two good wins against a good team,” said Anderson head coach Tommy Hewitt. “We played solid all the way around. We hit the ball well, played really good defense and [our] pitching was good enough to win.”
Anderson 8, Chowan 0 (5 innings)
Senior shortstop Abby Child was a perfect 3-for-3 in the opener, including the first of two home runs on the afternoon. She also added a run-scoring double in the fifth inning, scored twice and drove in five runs. Sophomore center fielder Molly Child added a double and an RBI-single, while scoring twice. Senior first-baseman Danielle Swygert was 2-for-3 after recording a single and a double. Junior Jessica Neidigh was 1-for-2 with a double and a sacrifice fly in three trips to the plate.
Junior right-hander Katelynn Howser (2-0) collected her second win of the season after scattering three hits in four full innings of work. She walked five and struck out six Hawks. Freshman hurler Augie Pena worked a perfect inning of relief, striking out the side in the fifth inning.
Chowan threatened in the top of the first inning, as the Hawks capitalized on a pair of two-out walks to load the bases but Howser worked out of the jam by recording her second strikeout of the frame. The Trojans countered with a run, as Neidigh opened the bottom of the inning with an opposite-field double down the left-field line. Two batters later, Neidigh crossed the plate on Abby Child‘s single.
The Trojans batted around in the second inning and added five runs, with Abby Child’s homer providing three of the scores.
After a scoreless third inning, AU increased the lead to 8-0 in the bottom of the fourth by taking advantage of back-to-back doubles and Swygert’s RBI-single to right.
Pena entered in the top of the fifth and retired the Hawks on three consecutive strikeouts to help preserve the win. The Geneva, Ala. native now has 10 strikeouts in eight innings of work on the season.
Anderson 9, Chowan 1 (6 innings)
Molly Child was 3-for-4 in the nightcap, including a two-run homer in the second inning and added a double and an RBI-single in the sixth frame. Abby Child ran her hitting streak to four games by going 3-for-4 with a two-run home run in the first inning and tacked on a pair of singles. Swygert also extended her hitting streak to four games with two singles in three trips to the plate. Senior Charlotte Sieber ripped a pair of singles, with Neidigh posting two singles in four at-bats. The Lawrenceville, Ga. native has hit safely in each of the Trojans’ first six games. Freshman Lauren Rudesheim drilled her first home run with the Black and Gold – a two-run shot in the second inning.
Rudesheim (3-0), the reigning South Atlantic Conference Pitcher of the Week, earned her third win of the season by scattering four hits over six innings, while allowing one earned run. The right-handed hurler struck out six and did not walk a batter.
Abby Child staked Rudesheim to an early 2-0 advantage with her second round-tripper in as many games, plating Molly Child who had reached on a one-out double to center.
The Trojans added five runs an inning later, while sending 10 batters to the plate. Molly Child and Rudesheim each ripped two-run home runs during the breakout inning, as Anderson pushed out to a 7-0 lead.
Chowan notched back-to-back one-out singles in the third inning to score its lone run of the afternoon, with the Trojans recording three consecutive singles and plating two runs in the sixth frame to set the final score.
Anderson will get back in action on Tuesday with a visit to Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte, N.C. First-pitch for the doubleheader versus the Golden Bulls is slated for 2 p.m.