Hickey, Billings Propel Bobcats to Split Against Millersville

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Lees-McRae freshman Valerie Hickey notched two singles in a five-run fifth of game two while LMC earned a split against Millersville, 0-10 and 6-3, in nonconference softball action Thursday afternoon at LMC Softball Field in Banner Elk, N.C.

The Marauders (8-6) used strong pitching and three innings of three or more runs to notch a 10-0 win in game one. The Bobcats (5-24) rallied back from a 3-0 deficit to take the second game while playing at home for the first time this season.

Game 1 – Millersville 10, LMC 0

Millersville starting pitcher Brianna Andraos (5-2) helped her own cause with an RBI double to left center to break a scoreless tie in the top of the second. Leadoff hitter Jordan Sheffield stroked a run-scoring triple before Danielle DiFilippo recorded one of her four hits with an RBI single through the left side.

DiFilippo battered LMC pitched with a five-RBI performance.

Maria Spinosa joined the RBI club with a single in the top of the third. DiFilippo delivered a big blow with a two-run single later in the inning. She notched a two-run double in the top of the fourth to conclude the scoring.

Bobcat freshman Sarah Stallings (Greensboro, N.C.) and sophomore Sadie Lagle (Harmony, N.C.) notched LMC's only hits.

Charlie Dutton (Monroe, Ga.) took the loss after going three innings and allowing seven runs (three earned).

Game 2 – LMC 6, Millersville 3

The Marauders Amanda Wink and LMC's Celeste Sheppard (East Julian, N.C.) were locked in a pitchers' duel while neither allowed run in the first three innings.

Millersville drew first blood following a two-run single by Brittany Smith in the top of the fourth. DiFilippo continued to best LMC pitching with an RBI single in the top of fifth.

Hickey (Umatilla, Fla.) started the Bobcat rally with a looping single to left field before Stallings laid down a perfect bunt to put runners on first and second.

Shortstop Lori Fulmer (Prosperity, S.C.) moved them over with a sacrifice bunt before Amanda Decker (Apex, N.C.) connected on a two-run single. Taylor Billings (Sophia, N.C.) methodically drew a walk prior to an RBI fielders' choice from Sheppard.

Senior Jessica Smith (Gastonia, N.C.) got a home-friendly bounce when a grounder up the middle ricocheted off second base allowing Decker to score the go-ahead run. Hickey capped off the scoring parade with an RBI single.

Billings added an insurance run while plating Lagle to make it 6-3 in the bottom of the sixth.

Sheppard (2-11) went the distance and allowed three earned runs while Amanda Wink (2-3) suffered the loss after allowing four earned runs in 4.1 innings.

LMC returns to Conference Carolinas play with a doubleheader at Pfeiffer at 3 & 5 p.m. Saturday in Misenheimer, N.C.

- LMC -