Royals sweep Bobcats in conference twin-bill

Royals sweep Bobcats in conference twin-bill

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- The Queens University of Charlotte softball team pitched a pair of shutouts to sweep a Conference Carolinas doubleheader against Lees-McRae College on Thursday afternoon.

Queens (24-22, 12-5 CC) took game one by a narrow margin of 1-0, before defeating Lees-McRae (13-30, 4-12 CC), 4-0, in the nightcap. The Royals posted nine hits on the afternoon, while holding the Bobcats to five base knocks in the twin-bill.

Kristen Oakes (Lenoir, N.C.) led the way for Lees-McRae with two hits, as Jessica Smith (Gastonia, N.C.), Amanda Leonard (Lincolnton, N.C.), and Amanda Decker (Apex, N.C.) each recorded a base knock. Laurel Gregg (Mars Hill, N.C.) pitched well enough to win in game one, allowing one run on two hits and striking out five in six innings of work. Oakes got the nod in the nightcap, allowing four runs and striking out two in six frames.

Noemi Rodriguez paced the Royals with a 3-for-4 day, as Keeya Turner, Amanda Meade, and Shelby O'Brien each tallied a pair of base hits. Meade and Rodriguez each drove in two runs, as Meade launched a home run.

Chantel Dodge took the ball in game one, tossing a one-hit shutout while striking out 10 to earn the victory. Jessica Scott followed with a gem in the nightcap, pitching seven shutout innings, surrendering four hits and striking out nine.

Game One: Queens 1, Lees-McRae 0 (Box Score)

The Royals scored the only run of the game in the third inning, taking a 1-0 lead on an RBI groundout by O'Brien after Whitney Britt walked and stole second to lead off the frame. Dodge would take control of the game from the first pitch, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Decker stroked a two-out single to left.

Game Two: Queens 4, Lees-McRae 0 (Box Score)

Queens got on the board early in the nightcap, plating two runs on a hit and a Bobcat miscue in the first to take an early 2-0 lead on a two-run double by Rodriguez. The Royals would add a pair of runs in the fourth, pushing the advantage to 4-0 after Meade launched a two-run home run over the left-field fence.

Perhaps the Bobcats' best scoring chance came in the top of the first, when Kim Coley (Marion, N.C.) drew a one-out walk and stole both second and third before the Royals got out of the inning on a ground out. Scott would allow just four base runners to reach scoring position on the afternoon, retiring eight of the final nine batters she faced to close out the victory.

Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Saturday when the Bobcats host Belmont Abbey College in conference play beginning at 2 p.m. at the Bobcat Softball Field. The Bobcats will honor their 2012 senior class prior to the first pitch of the afternoon.

- LMC -