ATLANTA – Junior Jessica Neidigh and senior Danielle Swygert each pounded out four hits, while shortstop Abby Child belted a grand slam for her school-record 40th home run, as the No. 14 Anderson University softball team swept Clark Atlanta in nonconference action, 7-3 and 14-0, Tuesday afternoon at Lady Panther Field.
After suffering its first back-to-back losses of the season at Georgia Southwestern on Monday, Anderson (20-4) rebounded to win its fourth straight overall past Clark Atlanta, which had its two-game win streak snapped and fell to 8-8 on the season. The Trojans out-slugged CAU, 25-6 on the afternoon and recorded four home runs.
Anderson 7, Clark Atlanta 3
Senior catcher Laura Jansky was 2-for-3 in the opener, with a single and scored what ultimately proved to be the winning run on her two-out, two-run homer in the third inning. Neidigh was 2-for-4, with a double and a triple and scored twice. Junior Rebecca Martin slammed her fifth home run of her season in the fourth inning.
Junior hurler Katelynn Howser (8-1) earned the win with six innings of relief, while striking out six Lady Panthers and walking just two. The right-hander scattered four hits and allowed just one runner to reach scoring position for CAU.
The Trojans jumped ahead early, as Neidigh led off the game with a triple and later scored. Clark Atlanta countered to take the lead in the bottom of the first on second baseman Alia Williams’ one-out, two-run home run. AU starter Augie Pena struggled with her control through the first frame, walking the bases loaded with two outs, but held the Lady Panthers without another run in the inning.
Anderson briefly regained the lead, 3-2, with two more runs in the second inning, as Jansky led off with a single and scored on Courtney Czentnar’s double. Czentnar later scored the go-ahead run with two outs.
The Lady Panthers evened the score with a solo run in the bottom of the second, but AU plated three runs in the third inning to take the lead for good. Neidigh led off with a double and scored when the CAU right fielder misplayed Molly Child’s hard-hit ball. Child scored on Jansky’s two-run homer with two outs, her third home run of the campaign. Martin’s leadoff homer in the fourth gave the Trojans another insurance run and set the final score.
Anderson 14, Clark Atlanta 0 (5 innings)
Swygert was a perfect 4-for-4 in the nightcap, with a solo home run, a pair of doubles and a single. She also drove in two runs and scored twice. Abby Child was 2-for-3 and belted a first-inning grand slam for her 40th career home run, which set a new school record, eclipsing former standout Kayla Williams’ 39 round-trippers. Neidigh added a pair of singles and two RBI in three at-bats, while senior Charlotte Sieber was 2-for-4 at the plate. She tallied a pair of singles, two RBI and scored twice.
Freshman right-hander Lauren Rudesheim (9-2) struck out six, walked two and limited Clark Atlanta to just a single over five full innings of work.
The Trojans sent 13 batters to the plate in the first inning and scored 10 runs, with Child’s two-out grand slam highlighting the outburst. Anderson capitalized on four singles to add three runs in the second frame.
Rudesheim lost her bid for a no-hitter in the third inning on Williams’ two-out single, but the Columbus. Ga. native shut down the Lady Panthers the rest of the way, while the AU offense added another run in the top of the fifth on Swygert’s third homer of the season.
The Trojans open South Atlantic Conference action by playing host to preseason league favorite Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday. First-pitch versus the Bears is slated for 2 p.m.