BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College Lady Bobcats secured the seventh seed in the Conference Carolinas Tournament with a doubleheader split, 11-1 win and 8-2 loss, with the Queens University of Charlotte Lady Royals in softball action Wednesday afternoon in their season finale.
The Lady Bobcats finish the regular season 20-18 overall and 8-10 in conference play. This is the first winning season for Lees-McRae softball since the 1998-1999 season.
In game one, Amanda Dodson threw a complete game three-hitter to
earn the win for Lees-McRae. Dodson struck out eight batters and
only allowed one walk.
The Lady Bobcats got on the scoreboard first with two runs in the first inning. Katie Alexander drove in both runs with a two out RBI double to left center to give Lees-McRae a 2-0 lead.
Lees-McRae added two more runs in the second inning when Amanda Leonard led off with a single and scored when Ashley Benfield followed with an RBI double. Benfield scored on an Anna Carter sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 4-0.
Queens notched their only run in the top of the third inning when Chantel Dodge doubled and scored on a Kari Kmetic RBI single to cut the lead to 4-1.
The Lady Bobcats responded in the bottom of the fourth with two more runs. Leonard led off with a single and was moved to second on a Benfield sacrifice bunt. Meagan Knowles doubled to right scoring Leonard and then scored on a Carter single to push the lead to 6-1.
In the fifth inning, Lees-McRae scored five runs on two homeruns to give the game the final of 11-1. Nicole Baxter had the first homer with a two-run blast to left center, and Knowles added the second shot with a three-run bomb.
Knowles led the Lady Bobcats offensively by going 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored. Leonard had three hits in three plate appearances and scored three runs. The Lady Bobcats pounded out 13 total hits in the game.
For Queens, Dodge was 1-for-2 with a run scored and Kmetic was 2-for-2 with the team's only RBI.
Game two was a different story with Queens scoring eight runs on ten hits to earn the 8-2 win.
For the second straight game, the Lady Bobcats scored the first run of the game when Knowles reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch to give the Lady Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
Queens took the lead in the top of second when Alisha Waldrop smashed a two-run homer to left center to give the Lady Royals a 2-1 lead.
Queens tacked on another run in the top of the third when Audra Littlejohn had an RBI single to make it 3-1. They added three more runs in the fifth on a walk, two singles, a pass ball and an error to push the lead to 5-1.
Lees-McRae scored their final run in the bottom of the sixth when Alexander blasted her first career homerun on a solo shot to left to make it 6-2.
Queens added two more runs in the top of the seventh on a solo homer by Amanda Bowman. Megan Campbell doubled then scored on a RBI double by Dodge to give the game the final score of 8-2.
Baxter, who was 3-for-3, and Alexander, who was 1-for-3 with the team's only RBI, led the Lady Bobcats.
Bowman, Kmetic and Waldrop were 2-for-4 for the Lady Royals. Waldrop drove in two runs and Bowman scored two runs.
The Lady Bobcats will enter the Conference Carolinas Tournament as the seventh seed and will play their first game against tenth seed Anderson University Friday at 10:00 a.m. in Hartsville, S.C.
Game one box score
Game two box score
Pictured: Amanda Dodson