Crusaders rally for sweep of Bobcats

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Lori Fulmer (Prosperity, S.C.) tallied three hits to lead the Lees-McRae College softball team on Saturday afternoon, as North Greenville University rallied from an early deficit in game two en route to a doubleheader sweep of the Bobcats in Conference Carolinas play at the Bobcat Softball Field.

North Greenville (16-18-1, 11-8-1 CC) took game one by a 10-1 margin, before coming-from-behind for a 5-1 victory in the night cap. The Crusaders tallied 24 hits on the day, including three home runs, while Lees-McRae (7-38, 2-16 CC) posted 11 base knocks and four doubles.

Fulmer paced the Bobcats with three hits, including an RBI double in game two, as Kierstie Moon (Oxford, Ga.) and Sadie Lagle (Harmony, N.C.) both collected two base knocks. Lagle, Fulmer, Alison Armstrong (Bellingham, Mass.) and Amanda Decker (Apex, N.C.) each recorded a double for the Bobcats, as Armstrong also drove in a run.

Hollie Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) got the nod in game one, battling through four innings while surrendering five earned runs and walking three. Kristen Oakes (Lenoir, N.C.) entered in relief in the fifth, allowing one earned run one five hits. Oakes then took the ball in game two, surrendering four earned runs and striking two in seven innings of work.

Amy Nagel led the way for North Greenville with a 5-for-7 day, launching two home runs and driving in six, as Sarah Armstrong added five base knocks. Rachel Glazebrook and Marielena Santos each tallied three hits, as Kimberly Robertson drove in three runs, including a home run.

Glazebrook took the ball in game one, allowing one unearned run on four hits and striking out five through four innings. Armstrong entered in relief, tossing three shutout frames while striking out four. Armstrong then took the ball in the night cap, surrendering one run on four hits in three innings. Cassi Carpenter tossed four shutout frames in relief for the Crusaders.

Game One: North Greenville 10, Lees-McRae 1 (Box Score)

North Greenville scored in each of the first four innings, taking a 4-0 lead after two before stretching the advantage to 5-0 in the third on a solo shot by Nagel. The Crusaders would tack on three in the fourth, pushing the margin to 8-0 before the Bobcats responded in the bottom of the frame, trimming the lead to 8-1 on a bases-loaded walk by Armstrong after Decker stroked a one-out double.

Game Two: North Greenville 5, Lees-McRae 1 (Box Score)

Oakes opened the night cap strong, tossing three perfect innings to start the contest. The Bobcats would strike first in the bottom of the third, taking a 1-0 lead when Armstrong doubled to left center and Fulmer drove her in two batters later with a two-bagger down the left field line.

North Greenville answered with four runs in the top of the fourth, taking a 4-1 advantage on a three-run homer by Nagel after Glazebrook tied it with an RBI single. The Bobcats refused to give in, putting runners in scoring position in both the fourth and fifth innings while holding the Crusaders to just one run over the final three frames, working out of a jam in each inning to stay within striking distance.

Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Sunday when the Bobcats travel to Charlotte, N.C. to take on Queens University of Charlotte in their final Conference Carolinas series of the regular season at 1 p.m.

- LMC -