MARS HILL, N.C. --- Jessica Smith (Gastonia, N.C.) tallied three hits and drove in two runs to lead the Lees-McRae College softball team to a doubleheader split with Mars Hill College on Monday afternoon in non-conference play.
Lees-McRae (3-15) won the opener by a tally of 4-3, before Mars Hill (7-5) took the night cap by a score of 5-0. The Bobcats posted 11 hits on the day, including a pair of doubles, while the Lions recorded 17 base knocks and eight runs batted in.
Smith and Sadie Lagle (Harmony, N.C.) each tallied three hits in the twin-bill, as Kierstie Moon (Oxford, Ga.) added a pair of base knocks. Smith drove in two runs, while Lagle and Hanna Huckabee (Oak Ridge, N.C.) both recorded an RBI.
Kristen Oakes (Lenoir, N.C.) took the ball in game one, allowing two runs and walking two through six innings to earn the victory. Hollie Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) tossed the final frame to record her first save of the year, before starting game two. The junior right-hander surrendered four earned runs and two walks while striking out two in six innings of work.
Jamie Hockaday and Robyn Stanek both picked up three hits on the day for the Lions, as Shaundee Woosley, Ashley McCurry, Aleshia Peek, and Brittany Gibson each recorded a pair of base knocks. Hockaday, Woosley, and Taylor Jordan each drove in two runs, as Woosley added a homer.
Taylor Morris took the ball in game one, allowing one earned run on five hits and striking out five. Taylor Hussey got the nod in the night cap, scattering six hits across seven innings en route to a shutout victory.
Game One: Lees-McRae 4, Mars Hill 3 (Box Score)
The Bobcats got on the board with two in the top of the first, putting runners on first and third with no outs before taking a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice bunt by Huckabee that plated Moon from third. Lagle then stroked a single down the left field line to score Sheridan and stretch the advantage to 2-0.
Lees-McRae doubled the lead to 4-0 in the third, loading the bases on a Lion miscue before Smith ripped a two-out, two-run single to right, scoring Huckabee and Sheridan. The Lions got one back in the bottom of the inning, cutting the advantage to 4-1 on an RBI double by Hockaday.
Mars Hill halved the advantage to 4-2 with a run in the fifth when Peek drove in Stanek with a single through the right side. The Lions would threaten again in the seventh, cutting the lead to 4-3 with an RBI single from Hockaday and putting runners on first and third with two outs. Crickenberger, who came in at the start of the inning in relief, then shut the door by forcing a fly out to center to clinch the victory for the Bobcats.
Game Two: Mars Hill 5, Lees-McRae 0 (Box Score)
The Bobcats threatened early in the top of the first, putting runners on second and third with two outs following a double by Lagle, before the Lions threw out the lead runner trying to score on the play to end the inning.
Mars Hill opened the scoring in the bottom of the second, pushing across two runs to take an early 2-0 lead on back-to-back RBI singles from Woosley and Megan Arrington. The Lions would add two in the third, pushing the advantage to 4-0 on a two-run single by Jordan before Woosley capped the scoring with a solo home run in the sixth.
The Bobcats threatened again in the seventh, when Smith led off the inning with a single through the left side. Hussey would hastily quell the rally, recording three quick outs to preserve the shutout and salvage the split for the Lions.
Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Saturday when the Bobcats travel to Gaffney, S.C. to resume their Conference Carolinas schedule against Limestone College at 12 p.m.
- LMC -