ANDERSON, S.C. – Senior Danielle Swygert and sophomore Molly Child each recorded four hits on the afternoon, as the No. 17 Anderson University softball team split a nonconference doubleheader with Young Harris, winning the opener, 3-2 and falling 9-6 in the nightcap, Thursday afternoon at Smethers Field.
Playing their eighth home contest in seven days, the Trojans moved to 16-2 on the season with their sixth win of the homestand, while Young Harris went to 5-10 on the season.
Anderson 3, Young Harris 2
Swygert was 2-for-3 in the opener, with two singles and added a walk, while Molly Child added a double and a single in four trips to the plate. Senior Abby Child added a two-run homer in the third inning and walked in the seventh.
Junior right-hander Katelynn Howser started in the circle for the Trojans and went six full innings, while striking out five and walking four. She surrendered two earned runs on three hits, but freshman Laruen Rudesheim (7-0) earned the win with an inning of relief. She allowed one hit in the final inning.
Swygert’s bases-loaded two-out single to the outfield plated junior Rebecca Martin with the winning run, as AU claimed its third walk-off victory in as many games.
The Mountain Lions jumped out to a quick lead with two runs in the top of the first, as third baseman Sarah Magill belted a two-run homer over the center-field fence. After a scoreless second inning, Molly Child doubled with one out and Abby Child followed with her sixth home run of the season to even the score.
Neither team managed to plate a run over the next three innings, and after Young Harris threatened in the top of the seventh, AU left fielder Rebecca Martin led off the bottom of the frame with a walk. One out later, Neidigh hit a chopper back to the circle that was misplayed, moving Martin into scoring position. Two batters later, Abby Child drew a walk to load the bases and set up Swygert’s heroics.
Young Harris 9, Anderson 6
Neidigh was 2-for-4 in the nightcap, with a three-run double in the second inning and added a two-out solo home run in the sixth frame. Swygert added a pair of singles in four at-bats and scored once, with Molly Child ripping a pair of singles in four trips to the plate.
Rudesheim (7-1) started game two and absorbed the loss after giving up nine earned runs off 13 hits over 4 2/3 innings. She struck out two and walked one. Howser threw 1 1/3 innings and struck out two Mountain Lions, while issuing two walks. Freshman Augie Pena tossed the seventh inning and did not allow a hit, while recording a strikeout.
After Young Harris opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first inning, the Trojans countered with four runs in the bottom of the second. Neidigh’s three-run double highlighted the outburst, as the Trojans sent eight batters to the plate.
AU catcher Laura Jansky doubled home a run in the third inning to boost Anderson’s lead to 5-1, but two innings later the Mountain Lions erupted for eight runs with two outs to take a lead they would not relinquish. Sophomore Lindsay Tudor provided four of the YHC runs on a grand slam, while Chandler Stooksbury added a two-run shot two batters later.
Trailing 9-5, Neidigh lifted her fourth home run of the season over the right-field fence to pull AU within three, but the Trojans would get no closer.
Anderson has an eight-day layoff before getting back on the diamond with a season-high eight-game road swing, beginning at Brewton-Parker College on Saturday, March 8.