ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson softball team split with South Atlantic Conference opponent Queens winning the opener, 9-2, while dropping the nightcap, 6-2, on Saturday afternoon at the AU Softball Complex.
Anderson moves to 25-11 on the season and 5-5 in SAC play while Queens goes to 17-18 overall and 6-4 in conference action.
Anderson 9, Queens 2
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Coupled with solid pitching, the Trojans banged out 13 hits spread among seven different batters to put away the Royals in game one.
A host of Trojans led the way for the Black and Gold at the plate during game one. Freshman Michaela Smith batted 2-for-2 scoring two runs while recording her first career home run. Senior Molly Child went 3-for-4 with a RBI double and a run scored while sophomore Cailah Niles continued her hot hitting with a 2-for-3 showing, drilling her eighth home run of the season. Niles also added four more RBI to her league leading total (41) to help defeat the Royals. Junior Augie Pena batted 2-for-3 with a two RBI home run hitting a long ball in each of her last three games. Freshman Madison Bivins and Rachael Barefield added one hit apiece with singles up the middle to get in on the action.
Pena (9-3) pitched a solid game going the distance for the Trojans. Pena gave up five hits while striking out 11 batters in seven innings of work.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Anderson jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, after Hurtado led off with a walk while moving to second with her 11th stolen base of the season. Child doubled to score Hurtado from second base.
The Trojans opened up the game in the bottom of the third inning scoring four runs to push the score to 5-0. Smith led off with a walk followed by back to back infield singles by Hurtado and Niles. Smith scored on Niles single moving Hurtado to third. Bivins reached on a fielder’s choice scoring Hurtado from third, setting up Pena’s two run shot over the left center field fence to give the Trojans a 5-0 lead.
The Royals finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth taking advantage of three hits and two errors in the innings. Pena and the Trojans settled down with Pena striking out two batters with the infield making a great play to end the threat.
Anderson added four more runs in the bottom of the sixth, highlighted by two home runs. Smith started the scoring barrage by hammering her first career home run over the left centerfield fence. Hurtado and Child both singled setting up the three run blast to left field by Niles. Pena retired the Royals in order to finalize the game one win for the Black and Gold.
Queens 6, Anderson 2
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Royals limited Anderson to just five hits and two runs in the nightcap.
Freshman Kasey Grant led the Trojans at the plate going 1-for-1 with a RBI and run scored. Barefield went 2-for-3 with an RBI double while Niles and Bivins added one hit apiece.
Sophomore Randee Bettis (5-4) recorded her fourth loss of the season in one and two thirds innings pitched. Junior Lauren Rudesheim (11-4) pitched in relief facing 22 batters striking out three and allowing only two hits in five and a third innings of work.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Anderson gave up five runs in the first two innings with the Royals taking advantage of three errors and six hits of their eight hits for game two. Queens added more run in the top half of the third and held off two rally’s the Trojans tried to put together in the fourth and the sixth innings.
In the bottom of the fourth, Grant hit a two out single scoring from first on Barfield’s double to right center with Queens ending the two out rally by retiring Smith.
The Trojans threated again in the bottom of the sixth with back to back singles by Niles and Bivins. The Royals replaced their starter with sophomore pitcher Evie Scott. Scott struck out red hot Pena, gave up a sacrifice fly to Grant while setting down Barefield who had previously singled and doubled in her last at-bats to secure the game for the Royals.
• Pena has hit three home runs in the Trojans last three games.
• Bivins has hit safely in nine out of the last 10 games.
The Trojans hit the road for conference when they travel to Carson-Newman on Wednesday. First pitch is slated at 2 p.m. at the Vickee Kazee Hollifield Softball Complex.