ANDERSON, S.C. – Senior Abby Child and freshman Courtney Czentnar combined for five home runs and nine RBI to help lead Anderson to an 11-2 and 5-3 sweep of Newberry in South Atlantic Conference softball action, Saturday afternoon at Smethers Field.
Anderson (23-7, 3-3 SAC) opened a four-game homestand with the pair of victories and earned its first sweep since taking two from Clark Atlanta 11 days ago. Newberry (15-13, 2-4 SAC) has dropped four straight and seven of its last nine decisions.
“It is nice to get two wins,” said Anderson head coach Tommy Hewitt. “We split the doubleheader on Wednesday, got punched in the mouth and we bounced back today. Our bats are awake right now and we got really good pitching from Lauren [Rudesheim] and Augie [Pena].”
The Trojans out-hit Newberry 17-8 on the afternoon and have now belted 11 home runs in the last four games. Czentnar slammed three round-trippers on the afternoon, marking the first time an Anderson batter has recorded three home runs in a doubleheader since former standout Emily Monteith ripped three in a sweep past St. Augustine on March 2, 2011. Child blasted two homers in the nightcap, equaling the two she recorded in the road wins past Lander in mid-February.
Anderson 11, Newberry 2 (5 innings)
Czentnar was 2-for-3 in the opener, with two home runs, four RBI and two runs scored. Senior catcher Laura Jansky was 1-for-2, with a two-run homer and also added a walk, while driving in two runs and scoring twice. Junior Rebecca Martin added a single, scored twice and recorded two RBI. Child was 1-for-2 in the opener and scored twice. Junior Jessica Neidigh also crossed the plate twice.
Freshman hurler Lauren Rudesheim (10-4) earned the victory, her sixth complete game of the year, while allowing two unearned runs on three hits in five innings. She walked one and struck out one.
Czentnar gave Anderson a lead it would not relinquish with a lead-off home run in the bottom of the second inning and the Trojans added four unearned runs with two outs in the third inning to claim a 5-0 advantage. Jansky’s fourth home run of the season over the fence in center field highlighted the frame.
The Trojans broke the game open with six unearned runs in the fourth inning, again striking with two outs.
Newberry countered with a pair of unearned runs of their own in the top of the fifth inning, but would get no closer.
Anderson 5, Newberry 3
Child was 3-for-4 in the nightcap, with two home runs and a single, while tallying four RBI and scoring twice. The senior shortstop has now hit safely in four straight contests. Czentnar capped off the day by going 1-for-2 at the plate, with her sixth home run of the season. She enters Wednesday’s twin bill riding an eight-game hitting streak. Sophomore Molly Child posted a sixth-inning single to extend her team-high hitting streak to 16 games. Martin was 1-for-4, with her hitting streak reaching nine consecutive contests.
Freshman pitcher Augie Pena (5-1) won her second consecutive outing after surrendering three unearned runs on five hits in six innings of work. The right-hander struck out six and did not walk a batter. Junior Katelynn Howser earned her first career save for the Black and Gold by tossing a perfect seventh inning in relief. She struck out two of the three Wolves she faced.
Abby Child snapped a scoreless tie with the first of her two home runs with two outs in the bottom of the third inning. After a scoreless fourth frame, AU increased the lead to 4-0, as Child and Czentnar ripped back-to-back home runs to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning.
Newberry’s Darrian Jamison pulled the Wolves within one on a two-out three-run shot over the fence in left and the visitors threatened to even the score after senior Leah Hosking followed with a double to the fence in center field. But third baseman Bri Cason snared Hailey Drawe’s line drive to end the inning.
The Trojans capitalized on three consecutive singles to add an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth and Howser came on in the bottom of the frame to shut down the Wolves.
Anderson gets back on the diamond on Wednesday, as the Trojans welcome Lincoln Memorial to Smethers Field for a 2 p.m. conference doubleheader.