Softball Rebounds for HCAC Twin Bill Split with Hanover

BOX SCORES: GAME ONE / GAME TWO 

225Rollins SwingTERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology softball team picked up a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference split with Hanover College after winning the nightcap Sunday, 2-0, after dropping Game 1, 4-3, in 10 innings. 

The Fightin' Engineers (12-8, 6-4 HCAC) rebounded from a tough opening loss behind the arm of sophomore pitcher Taylor Lockhart (Robinson, Ill./Oblong), who tossed her second shutout of the season. She allowed just four hits and struck out four in seven innings pitched to improve to 3-1 in the circle. 

Chris Rollins (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield North) delivered the game's first run on an RBI single down the left field line to score pinch runner Cassidy Bevington (Delphos, Ohio/Delphos Jefferson) from second in the bottom of the fourth.

Hanover (15-13, 4-4) would threaten with two runners on in the fifth, but two stellar defensive plays by RHIT outfielders Ellissa Eckert (Sugar Grove, Ill./Kaneland) and Whitney Strain (St. Charles, Mo./Orchard Farm) helped Lockhart retire the side without allowing a run. 

RHIT added one more run in the bottom of the fifth when sophomore Marissa Stout (Terre Haute, Ind./South) drilled a hard-hit single that got through the left side to score Jessica Ahlborn (Houghton, Mich./Houghton), who doubled to center field to open the inning, from second. 

Ahlborn finished the game with two hits and Stout, Allison Bowman (Fort Wayne, Ind./R Nelson Snider), Eckert, and Rollins each had one hit for the Engineers. 

In the opener, Tori Wilson led the Hanover offense with three hits, including an RBI single to plate the eventual winning run in the 10th inning.  Leah Kemmerer tossed the complete game for the Panthers, striking out 12 and scattering seven hits.

Stout led the Rose-Hulman offense with two singles and one RBI.  Junior Carly Heibel (Fort Wayne/Lakewood Park Christian) blasted her school-record 12th career home run to give the Engineers a 2-1 lead after five innings.  Heibel also tossed the full 10 innings in the circle, scattering seven hits and allowing just two earned runs.

Hanover tied the score at 2-2 with a single run in the sixth, before both teams were held scoreless in the seventh.  Rose-Hulman loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth with a chance to earn the go-ahead runs, but Kammerer forced a ground out to keep the score tied.

Both teams scored once in the eighth inning, with Shelby Overton hitting a sacrifice fly for Hanover and Eckert blasting a tying double for Rose-Hulman.  The pitchers held both teams scoreless in the ninth, before Hanover scored the deciding run in the 10th.

The Fightin' Engineers host nationally ranked Anderson University on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in another conference doubleheader.