JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Anderson University softball team ripped 27 base hits, including five home runs, as the Trojans rolled past Carson-Newman, 8-0 and 13-2, to sweep the South Atlantic Conference softball doubleheader Wednesday afternoon at the Vickee Kazee-Hollifield Softball Complex.
Anderson (33-9, 11-5 SAC) stretched its win streak to nine games and has won 12 of its last 14 outings, while handing Carson-Newman (28-14, 7-9 SAC) its second-worst loss in school history.
Anderson 8, Carson-Newman 0 (5 innings)
Junior third baseman Bri Cason was a perfect 3-for-3 in the opener, with three singles and an RBI. Sophomore Molly Child was 2-for-3 with a walk and belted her SAC-leading 12th home run of the season, a solo shot in the second inning. Child also scored three runs. Freshman Courtney Czentnar added a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly.
Junior hurler Katelynn Howser improved to 12-4 on the season with her fourth consecutive win. The two-hit shutout, her second of the season, marked her sixth complete game of the campaign. The right-hander struck out two and did not walk a batter over the five-inning span, while limiting C-N batters to just a pair of singles, with neither runner reaching scoring position. Howser has allowed just 12 hits in her last 21 innings of work.
Anderson batted around in the top of the first inning, as the Trojans erupted for four runs, providing Howser with all the run support she would need on the afternoon. Molly Child ripped a one-out single to center, while seniors Abby Child and Danielle Swygert followed with back-to-back walks to load the bases. Czentnar’s sacrifice fly to center was deep enough to plate Molly Child with the game’s first run and the Trojans capitalized on another walk and a pair of singles to build the 4-0 advantage.
The Trojans added a pair of runs in the second frame, with Molly Child pulling a one-out home run beyond the fence in right-center to boost AU’s lead to five. Back-to-back singles by Abby Child and Swygert, sandwiched around a wild pitch, plated another run.
Molly Child led off the fourth inning with a walk and three batters later Czentnar blasted her ninth round-tripper of the season over the right-field fence to give the Trojans an 8-0 lead and cap the scoring in the opener, as Howser retired the Eagles in order in the fourth and fifth innings.
Anderson 13, Carson-Newman 2
Swygert was 3-for-4 in the nightcap, as the senior nearly hit for the cycle. She finished with a walk, a run-scoring single, an RBI-double and a two-run homer, her sixth of the season. Senior Charlotte Sieber added a second-inning single and blasted her first home run of the campaign in the seventh inning. Abby Child was 3-for-5 with a pair of singles and a double, and drove in two runs, while scoring three runs.
Neidigh tallied a double and a walk and crossed the plate twice, while Molly Child tallied a pair of singles and two runs scored. Czentnar homered for the second time of the day in the decisive third inning, marking the second time this season that the freshman has homered at least twice in a doubleheader. Junior Rebecca Martin was 2-for-4 with two singles and an RBI.
Freshman right-hander Lauren Rudesheim started the nightcap in the circle and went one inning, while surrendering two earned runs on three hits. She walked one and struck out one. Howser (13-4) entered in the second frame and earned the win with six innings of two-hit relief. She struck out five and walked one.
Anderson again jumped ahead early, as Neidigh led off the contest with an opposite-field double down the left-field line and scored on Abby Child’s single to center. But C-N countered to score two runs with two outs, as the Eagles took their first lead of the afternoon. Outfielder Kelli Hensley, a two-time SAC Player of the Week honoree, led off the first inning with a walk and scored on Brittany Hefner’s triple down the right-field line. Hefner then crossed the plate on Haley Taylor’s single to center, as Carson-Newman took the brief advantage but would not cross the plate again.
The Trojans answered with four runs in the top of the third, as AU loaded the bases with no outs and capitalized on three singles and a sacrifice fly to regain the lead, at 5-2.
Carson-Newman managed to get runners on the corners with two outs in the bottom of the third, but Howser escaped the jam by notching one of her five strikeouts.
Anderson pushed out to a 8-2 cushion by adding three runs in the fourth inning, as Swygert’s one-out double to left-center brought home Abby Child and Czentnar followed with her 10th round-tripper of the season.
Child doubled and scored in the sixth and the Trojans put the game out of reach with a four-run seventh inning, which was highlighted by Sieber’s solo shot and Swygert’s two-run blast.
Anderson wraps up its home slate on Saturday, when the Trojans welcome league-newcomer Queens to Smethers Field on Senior Day. First-pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.
With the five home runs on the afternoon, the Trojans set a new school record for round-trippers in a season with 63, surpassing last season’s tally of 58. The new mark ties Lenoir-Rhyne’s 2007 squad for second all-time in the conference record books.
Both Neidigh and Swygert have made their mark in the Anderson softball record books, as well. With Neidigh’s two base hits on the afternoon, the second baseman eclipsed former Trojan standout Caroline Rochester for the school record with 231 career hits, while Swygert’s four hits on the day give her 230 for her career, equaling Rochester’s old mark. With Swygert’s fourth-inning double in the nightcap, the first baseman also set a new school record with 55 career doubles.