Postseason hopes for Hanover's men's lacrosse team began fading Saturday as the Panthers dropped a 29-5 decision at Aurora (Ill.) in Midwest Lacrosse Conference action.

Hanover, now 5-4 in the MLC, is currently in a four-team race for one of the final spots into the conference tournament. The Panthers have never earned a postseason berth in the program's young history.

Aurora (11-3, 8-0 MLC), now on an 11-match winning streak, bolted out of the gate and led 14-2 at halftime before a 9-2 run to open the second half padded the host's advantage at 23-4 after the third period.

Hanover managed just one goal in the final period as Aurora scored its final six en route to a decisive 24 goal victory.

Juniors Josh Green and Luke Karnick accounted for all five of Hanover's goals. Green led with three goals and Karnick added two as the Panthers were held to a season low 23 shot attempts.

Addison Sears spent 30 minutes in the Hanover net allowing 14 goals and collecting 10 saves.

Hanover (9-6) hosts Carthage (Wis.) on Saturday in its final regular season match.

Twinbill setback cuts into softball's playoff cushion

Hanover softball watched its fourth place lead in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference dwindle on Saturday as the Panthers dropped a doubleheader at Bluffton (Ohio).

The Panthers fell 8-7 in game one after seeing their early lead diminish in the final innings.

Hanover scored twice in the first inning and three more times in the top of the second to quickly lead 5-0 before two runs by Bluffton trimmed the lead down to 5-2 heading into the sixth inning.

Two runs in the top of the seventh brought the Hanover lead to 7-2 but a disastrous bottom the seventh allowed the Beavers to steal away the victory. With one out, Bluffton put eight consecutive runners on base leading to a six-run rally and the win.

Danielle Merrick led Hanover's nine-hit attack with three hits including two runs scored and an RBI. Leah Kemmerer and Shelby Overton had two hits each with Overton adding a team-high two RBIs.

Kemmerer was tagged with the loss in the circle after going six and one-thirds innings. The junior gave up eight earned runs on 12 hits while walking four and striking out four.

Bluffton (22-12, 12-4 HCAC) scored a 9-1 win in game two.

Hanover jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the first inning but Bluffton answered with nine runs the rest of the way. The Beavers scored five runs in the bottom of the first, one in the third and three more in the top of the fourth.

The Panthers were held to just four hits in game two. Overton, Gabrielle Ritchey, Tori Wilson and Michaela Corbin had one hit each. Overton had the lone RBI while Danielle Merrick scored a run.

Christina Davidson was given the pitching loss after just two-thirds of an inning. The Hanover starter gave up five runs - two earned - on five hits while walking one.

Hanover (17-15, 6-6 HCAC) holds a two-game lead for the final spot in the upcoming HCAC Tournament. The Panthers visit eighth place Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) on Wednesday.

Baseball caps series sweep over HCAC foe Defiance

Seniors Mitch Hunnicutt and Kolton Chapman led Hanover baseball to a pair of wins over Defiance (Ohio) on Saturday at home, completing a three-game Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference sweep over the Yellow Jackets.

Hunnicutt tossed a complete game six-hitter as Hanover won 6-2 in game one.

Each team scored a run in the second and fourth innings as the game remained a 2-2 tie heading into the eighth inning. Hanover erupted for four runs in the bottom of the eighth for the eventual 6-2 final score as Hunnicutt slammed the door on Defiance in the top of the ninth.

The Panthers recorded 13 hits in the first game. Matt Newman and Nolan Hall led the attack with three hits each. Newman had a team-high two runs while Hall had a team-high three RBIs.

Zack Shultz and Matt Brooks added two hits each.

Hunnicutt picked up his third win of the season on the mound in impressive fashion walking none and striking out seven.

Hanover rallied late in game two as Kolton Chapman's walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth capped off a 5-3 win.

Defiance (8-23, 2-16 HCAC) led 3-2 after seven innings but Hanover's Cameron Walls scored on a two-out single by Chris Ares to tie the game 3-3 going into the final inning.

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Johns reached on a walk, setting the stage for Chapman's blast down the right field line that won the game. It was his first home run of the season.

Hanover totaled eight hits with Shultz, Ares and Chapman leading the attack with two each. Chapman also finished with a team-high two runs and two RBIs.

Chip Hockenbury pitched in relief and received the win. Hockenbury threw the final four and one-thirds innings, giving up no runs on just one hit while walking one and striking out four.

Nick Brunner started the game and pitched four and two-thirds innings. Brunner allowed three earned runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out five.

Hanover (11-16, 7-10 HCAC) battles HCAC rival Franklin at Victory Field in Indianapolis on Tuesday.