Billings Baffles Bats; McRary, Stallings Spark Offense in Split with Converse

Billings Baffles Bats; McRary, Stallings Spark Offense in Split with Converse

SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- Freshman Karly McRary combined for five hits and junior Sarah Stallings turned in a three-hit performance while the Lees-McRae softball team earned a split against Converse in Conference Carolinas action Saturday afternoon at Tyger River Field in Spartanburg, S.C.

Converse 5, Lees-McRae 3
The Valkyries (4-9, 1-0 CC) did all their offensive damage in the fifth while Marissa Steadman (4-8) went the distance and struck out 10. The Bobcats (2-12, 0-1) saw freshman Kara Cunningham (Indian Trail, N.C.) (0-8) strike out a career-high seven.

Coach Jaclin Poole's squad grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second after Kasey Klutz (Leland, N.C.) drew a two-out walk, stole second and scored on a run-scoring single through the left side from McRary (Marion, N.C.).

Converse cranked out five hits in its five-run fifth inning.

After a leadoff bunt single and sacrifice bunt, Kelsie Land tied the contest at one with a single up the middle.

Three batters later, Shelby Bullock drove in a pair of runs with a single to center.

Mckayla Davis followed suit with a two-run single to push the lead to four, 5-1.

LMC wouldn't go down without a fight and strung together four consecutive singles to play two runs.

McRary bashed out her second hit of the game before a single from Sarah Beth Ashley (Walkertown, N.C.) put runners on first and second.

Stallings (Greensboro, N.C.) and Cunningham produced back-to-back RBI knocks to cut the deficit to two. Steadman worked out of the jam by inducing a popup to end the contest.

McRary went 2-for-3 while Cunningham took the loss after allowing five earned runs in 4.2 innings of work.

Lees-McRae 7, Converse 2
The Bobcats (3-13, 1-1) scored a season-high seven runs after four players notched multi-hit games. The Valkyries (4-10, 1-1) produced three extra-base hits.

Six different LMC players tallied a RBI in the win.

Stallings drove in the game's first run when she used her speed to leg out an infield single in the top of the second, scoring Emily Merriam (Myrtle Beach, S.C.).

McRary continued her strong day with a single and another stolen base in the top of the third and eventually scored after a sacrifice bunt fielder's choice from Merriam.

Freshman Noel Cassidy (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) plated Merriam with a single before Ashley scored Sarah Tucker (Monroe, N.C.) with a run-scoring single.

The Bobcat offense continued to roll in the fourth with another run when Klutz drove in Stallings on a sacrifice bunt.

Converse cut into the lead with a RBI triple from Morgan Marlow.

Tucker and Merriam registered RBI knocks in the top of the seventh to all but seal the win.

Junior Taylor Billings (Sophia, N.C.) (2-1) impressed in the win with a complete game effort and allowing one earned run.

LMC travels to Clermont, Fla. to participate in The Spring Games and battles Minnesota St. Mankato and Sioux Falls Monday, March 7 at 9 & 11 a.m., respectively.

- LMC -