ANDERSON, S.C. – Highlighted by stellar performances in the circle by junior Katelynn Howser and freshman Lauren Rudesheim to go along with timely hitting from senior Laura Janksy, Anderson University softball completed the sweep of South Atlantic Conference rival Catawba, 3-2 and 1-0, Saturday afternoon at Smethers Field.
The key conference sweep propels the Trojans to 31-9 on the year and 9-5 in conference play, while the visiting Indians fall to 22-13 overall and to an even 7-7 mark within the SAC. The two wins on the day increasing AU’s winning streak to seven-straight, not having dropped a game for the month of April.
In the opening game, Anderson used a three-run fourth inning to propel them to the eventual win. After senior first baseman Danielle Swygert reached third on a stolen base and junior Rebecca Martin recorded a single to put runners on the corners, Jansky blasted her seventh home run of the season over the center-field wall to give AU the 3-0 advantage.
With the three-run lead, the visitors tried to inch their way back into the contest as a single by Carley Tysinger drove in Holli Chandler for the Lady Indians’ first run of the game in the fifth inning. After Howser got out of a fifth inning jam with Catawba leaving two runners on, followed by a quick top-half of the sixth inning, the right-hander tried to earn her sixth complete game of the season.
Chandler doomed Howser once again as she led off the seventh inning with a home run to right field, bringing the score to 3-2 with no outs in the final frame. Freshman right-hander Augie Pena came in for the save attempt and completed her job by shutting down the Indians in order to seal the win in the first game of the day.
For the opening contest, junior Bri Cason was the lone Trojan to post multi-hits, finishing the game 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. Martin, senior shortstop Abby Child and second baseman Jessica Neidigh also added singles for the first game.
In the circle, Howser tossed six complete with three strikeouts and two earned runs. With the win, the junior improved to 12-4 on the year and increased her strikeout total to a team-high 86.
In the final game of the afternoon, both teams struggled to find much offense as Rudesheim and Catawba’s Caroline Turner did not give up a run until Anderson’s half of the sixth inning. Jansky became the hero once again as she followed a Courtney Czentnar single with a double in the left-center gap, scoring the right fielder for the game’s only run.
Rudesheim closed the shutout with no walks and a career-high eight strikeouts en route to her team-high 15th victory of the season.
For the second game, the Trojans matched game one’s total of six hits as Jansky’s game-winning double was the team’s only extra-base hit for the game. Neidigh, Swygert, Czentnar, Janksy, Cason and Charlotte Sieber all posted hits for the final game of the twin bill.
Anderson looks to continue its winning streak on Wednesday when it hits the road to conference foe Carson-Newman. The opening game of the doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.