Hanover, Ind. – The Transylvania softball team emerged victorious in its first conference road doubleheader of the 2018 season, sweeping the Hanover College Panthers 4-0 and 6-2 on Friday evening at Kops-Bedel Stadium.
Taking on its second Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opponent of the season, the Pioneers ventured to Hanover and produced two impressive victories to improve to 18-4 on the year and 4-0 in HCAC play. Hanover dropped to 10-12 overall, and 0-4 in the HCAC.
Transylvania was led in game one by senior pitcher Renae Morton, who claimed her 10th victory of the season and was aided by a three-run inning in the fifth as the Pioneers broke through.
In game two, the Pioneers received another late-game explosion, going off for five runs in the sixth inning to put away the Panthers 6-2 for their Friday sweep.
With the pair of wins, the Pioneers grew their season-best winning streak to eight games and have won 16 of their last 18 games.
Game one featured two of the conference's best pitchers in the conference's win leader Morton and Hanover's Sydney Griffin, who ranked third in conference in wins entering Friday's doubleheader. Friday's opening stanzas lived up to the billing as the Pioneers led off each of the first three innings with a hit but could not find the opening run. Meanwhile, Morton was sensational, not allowing a hit until the beginning of the fourth inning.
In the fifth inning, the Pioneers were able to generate the go-ahead moment. Senior outfielder Destiny Garcia led off with a walk, and freshman infielder Cece Wittry moved Garcia over to second base with a sacrifice bunt. Junior infielder Brittany Mumford then delivered an infield single to put two threats aboard with one away.
Transylvania then took a 1-0 lead as sophomore catcher Janelle Hynes skied a fly ball to center field to score Garcia. Junior outfielder Shelbi Poehlein smacked an RBI double into the left field alley to score Mumford for a 2-0 lead.
Senior outfielder Madison Dorsey finished off the offensive production in the fifth by driving in Poehlein for an RBI single and a 3-0 Transylvania lead.
Morton finished off her afternoon by allowing just two hits, picking up her fifth complete-game win of the year.
Freshman starting pitcher Kameron Bowling started in the circle in game two for the Pioneers and worked five solid innings, yielding two earned runs on three hits, no walks, and three strikeouts. The freshman's contributions proved critical as the Pioneers again went scoreless over the first three innings before junior designated player Jessica Powell drove in junior infielder Meg Liter for a 1-0 lead.
Two Panthers made it on base in the bottom of the inning on consecutive hit by pitches, but Bowling mustered one of three strikeouts to strand both runners and maintain the 1-0 lead after four frames.
In the sixth inning, the Pioneers made their final move. Hynes led off with a base hit into center field and Poehlein moved Hynes to third with her first of two hits in the nightcap. Liter then drove a base hit into left field as both runners scored for a three-run lead. Sophomore outfielder Tabitha Sizemore followed up with an RBI single for a 4-0 Transylvania lead. Sophomore designated player Sydney Motell finished off the scoring with a two-run double and a 6-0 Transylvania lead.
The Pioneers finished with nine hits in game two to three hits by the Panthers. Hynes, Poehlein, and Liter each tallied two hits in the game two victory. Bowling picked up the win to move to 6-1 on the year. Junior pitcher Tayler Thompson worked the final two innings to finish off a successful Friday for Transylvania.
The Pioneers are scheduled to visit Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology tomorrow for a doubleheader against the Fightin' Engineers. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at the Rose-Hulman Softball Field.