AMERICUS, Ga. – Georgia Southwestern rallied twice in the late innings to claim a pair of one-run decisions, 6-5 and 4-3, over 17th-ranked Anderson in nonconference softball action Monday afternoon at Lady ‘Canes Field.
Anderson (18-4) had its two-game win snapped and suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season, while Georgia Southwestern (14-8) improved to 6-0 at home with its fourth win in the last seven outings.
“Sometimes you just get out played and that's what happened today,” said Anderson head coach Tommy Hewitt.
Georgia Southwestern 6, Anderson 5
Junior second baseman Jessica Neidigh was 3-for-4, with a double in the opener and scored three times. She also recorded a pair of stolen bases. Junior pitcher Katelynn Howser was 2-for-3 at the plate and scored once. Senior first baseman Danielle Swygert drove in a pair of runs.
Howser (7-1) suffered her first loss of the season, surrendering six runs (one earned) on six hits in 6 2/3 innings of work. The right-hander struck out seven and walked just two. She allowed just one hit over the first five frames and lost the shutout in the sixth inning.
The Trojans suffered a heartbreaking loss, as senior Nellie Moore notched a two-out, two-run walk-off homer to give Georgia Southwestern the win, as Lady ‘Canes rallied for five runs in their final at-bat.
Anderson opened the scoring with a solo run in the first inning after Neidigh pulled a single into right-center, stole second, moved to third on Abby Child’s fly out to center and scored when Swygert bounced out to second.
The Trojans added two more runs in the third when Swygert brought Howser across the plate by getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Senior Laura Jansky followed with a sacrifice fly to center, bringing home Neidigh to give AU a 3-0 lead.
Anderson pushed its lead to 4-0 with another run in the fourth, as junior Bri Cason led off the frame by getting hit with an errant pitch and crossing the plate on Neidigh’s opposite-field single down the left-field line. The Trojans garnered a 5-0 advantage in the sixth when Neidigh led off by reaching on an error and crossed the plate on Abby Child’s single to the left side of the infield.
Georgia Southwestern countered with a single run in the bottom of the sixth and after the Trojans went down in order in the seventh inning, the Lady ‘Canes added three runs to pull within one and senior Hayley Knight’s two-out RBI-double set up Moore’s heroics.
Georgia Southwestern 4, Anderson 3
Neidigh continued with her hot bat in the nightcap, extending her hitting streak to five games with three singles in four trips to the plate. The left-landed leadoff hitter has boosted her batting average more than 50 points over the five-game stretch. Junior outfielder Rebecca Martin was 2-for-3, with a first-inning double, while Swygert drove in three runs with her second home run of the season. Sophomore Molly Child extended her team-high hitting streak to eight games with a seventh-inning single.
Freshman Lauren Rudesheim (8-2) suffered the loss after giving up four earned runs off seven hits and struggled in the circle with a season-high seven free passes, while striking out one.
Swygert’s one-out homer plated both Neidigh and Molly Child to give the Trojans a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Anderson was unable to push across another run on the afternoon, as the GSW hurlers allowed just four more hits over the remaining six frames.
The Lady ‘Canes scored once in the third and drew within 3-2 with another run in the fourth inning. They sent eight batters to the plate in the decisive sixth, but senior Ashley Clifton’s one-out, two-run homer proved to be the difference.
The Trojans threatened in the top of the final inning, as Cason led off with a walk and moved into scoring position on Neidigh’s one-out infield single. She went to third when Molly Child pulled a single to right, but GSW junior right-hander Ashley Cavender ended the threat by inducing back-to-back fly outs.
Anderson will look to get back in the win column by wrapping up the six-game road swing with a doubleheader at Clark Atlanta on Tuesday. First-pitch versus the Panthers is slated for 2 p.m.