February 25, 2013

Crickenberger shines in doubleheader split with Brevard

BREVARD, N.C. --- Hollie Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) held Brevard College to just one unearned run in 10 innings of work, and Hanna Huckabee (Oak Ridge, N.C.) drove in two runs on four hits to lead the Lees-McRae College softball team to a doubleheader split against the Tornado in non-conference action on Monday afternoon.

Brevard (5-7) won the opener by a tally of 3-1, before Lees-McRae (1-13) answered with a 4-1 victory in the night cap behind a 3-for-3 performance by Huckabee. The Bobcats recorded 11 base knocks on the day, including four extra-base hits, while holding Brevard to four runs on eight hits.

Lori Fulmer (Prosperity, S.C.) and Jessica Smith (Gastonia, N.C.) each posted two hits on the day, as Kierstie Moon (Oxford, Ga.) and Fulmer each drove in a run for the Bobcats. Crickenberger was superb in the circle for Lees-McRae, allowing just one unearned run while striking out five and scattering seven hits in 10 innings of work. Kristen Oakes (Lenoir, N.C.) surrendered one earned run on one hit and four walks in three frames.

Alyssa Miller and Michelle Ray paced the Tornados with two hits each, including a pair of doubles, as Emily Boykin recorded Brevard's lone RBI in the twin-bill. Jamie Hrobak picked up the win in game one, allowing one run on four hits and striking out 10 in a complete game effort. Kayla Clemens took the ball in the night cap, surrendering three runs on five hits through five frames before Hrobak came in for the final two innings.

Game One: Brevard 3, Lees-McRae 1 (Box Score)

The Tornado struck first in the bottom of the opening inning, plating three runs without recording a hit as Miller, Brittany Fowler, and Brittany Jones scored on a pair of wild pitches and a Bobcat miscue to give Brevard an early 3-0 lead. Lees-McRae would clamp down over the next five innings, not allowing a run while surrendering just four hits.

The Bobcats would cut the lead to 3-1 in the fifth, when Fulmer stroked a two-out single down the left field line and Moon cranked a triple to plate Fulmer from first. Huckabee and the Bobcats would continue the rally in the sixth, when the freshman dropped a leadoff double into right before Hrobak settled in, retiring the next three batters to get out of the inning.

Game Two: Lees-McRae 4, Brevard 1 (Box Score)

Lees-McRae got on the board first in game two, plating two runs on a two-run double by Huckabee in the third that scored Moon and Fulmer. Brevard would halve the advantage to 2-1 in the fourth, scoring one run on an RBI single by Boykin.

The Bobcats answered with two in the sixth, pushing the lead to 3-1 when Oakes scampered home on a passed ball, before Fulmer plated Smith with an RBI single up the middle to equal the final margin of 4-1.

The story of the game proved to be Crickenberger, as the junior surrendered just one unearned run on four hits and struck out four in a complete-game effort. Crickenberger worked out of a jam in each of the final three innings, stranding five runners on base to quell the rally and clinch the victory for the Bobcats.

Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Saturday when the Bobcats travel to Belmont, N.C. to open Conference Carolinas play with a twin-bill against Belmont Abbey College at 1 p.m.

- LMC -