Bobcats Bounced by Bears in Twin Bill

HICKORY, N.C. --- Freshman Sarah Beth Ashley crushed her first collegiate home run of her career in game two, but LMC fell 7-0 and 7-2 to Lenoir-Rhyne in nonconference action Wednesday afternoon at Bears Field in Hickory, N.C.

The Bears (11-3) continued their impressive start to the 2014 campaign while claiming their fifth consecutive victory. The Bobcats (3-12) saw their three-game win streak snapped despite collecting their first long ball of the season.

Game 1: Lenoir-Rhyne 7, LMC 0

After neither team plated a run in the first, the L-R threatened when it put runners on first and second, thanks to a pair of walks. LMC's Celeste Sheppard (East Julian, N.C.) escaped unscathed following a pop up and one of her two strikeouts.

The Bears offense came to life in the bottom of the third following a leadoff triple from Jody Mizelle and a sacrifice fly from Sydney Landreth to plate the games' first run.

L-R's Brittany Coursen cranked a two-run shot to dead center before a pair of RBI doubles made it 5-0. Ciera Cockerham followed suite with a run-scoring double of her own while the Bears took a 6-0 advantage into the fourth.

LMC threatened in the top of the sixth after Sadie Lagle (Harmony, N.C.) continued to swing a hot bat with a two-out double prior to a Sheppard single to left. However, Lagle was gunned down at the plate while trying to score on the play.

In the bottom half of the frame, Coursen notched her third RBI of the game with a looping single to left.

Sheppard (1-6) took the loss after allowing six runs in five innings of work. Maryann Hoskins earned the win after going the distance and allowing only three hits.

Game 2: Lenoir-Rhyne 7, LMC 2

The Bears scratched across an early run thanks to an Ashley Oliver sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first.

Ashley (Walkertown, N.C.) knotted it at one with a solo blast to lead off the second.

Once again, L-R responded while Mizelle scorched a two-run single up the middle to make it 3-1.

The duo of Cockerham and Mizelle produced the Bears two runs in the bottom of the third to extend the lead, 5-1.

Mizelle completed the trifecta with her third knock of the day while delivering an RBI single to plate Cockerham.

Lagle crushed an RBI triple to play Sarah Stallings (Greensboro, N.C.), who drew a one-out walk.

The Bears' Lauren Elder capped off the scoring with an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth.

LMC's Charlie Dutton (Monroe, Ga.)(1-6) suffered the loss while allowing six earned runs in five innings of work. Lagle paces the Bobcat squad with a .400 batting average on the season.

The Bobcats open Conference Carolina play when they visit North Greenville March 1 at 1 & 3 p.m. in Tigerville, S.C.

- LMC -