Photo Courtesy of Jacob Turner
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College softball team will compete in the Conference Carolinas Softball Tournament this weekend in Burlington, North Carolina. The tournament, which is under a double elimination format, will be played April 27-29 from Springwood Park in Burlington. LMC's opening game of the tournament is Friday morning against rival King University. First pitch for that game is set for 11 a.m.
Last Time Out – The Bobcats and Tornado just matched up against each other last Saturday in Banner Elk. The two rivals split the two games with LMC winning game one 4-0, but falling in game two, 6-1. With the split, Lees-McRae closed out its regular season record at 16-24 overall and 11-9 within league play.
About the Tournament – The tournament consists of the top eight teams from the 2018 regular season standings. The other teams involved other than Lees-McRae and King are No. 1 Limestone, No. 2 Erskine, No. 3 North Greenville, No. 6 Belmont Abbey, No. 7 Mount Olive and No. 8 Barton. LMC and King along with the Saints and Bulldogs get underway at 11 a.m., while the other two first round games are slated to get underway at 1 p.m.
Records are meant to be broken – There was some LMC softball history made last Saturday. With her win in the circle in game one against King, Cunningham broke the program's single-season wins record for a pitcher with 16. Cunningham broke the previous record of 15 victories set by Natalie McNabb during the 1999 season.
Confidence in Conference – After going 5-15 in non-conference play, the Bobcats have fared much better within Conference Carolinas. LMC's 11 victories in conference marks the most for the program since 1999 when the Bobcats racked up 15 wins in league action. Additionally, the Bobcats have won at least one game against every team in this weekend's tournament except for North Greenville and Limestone.
Power Surge – Lees-McRae has seen a definite upswing in the power department this spring. As a team the Bobcats have hit 16 home runs, which is the most for the program since 2011 when the squad slugged 38 home runs.
Conference Tournament History – LMC will be making its second straight appearance in the conference tournament after a two-year hiatus. The Bobcats went 1-2 in the tournament in 2017 with a victory over Mount Olive, but with losses to Pfeiffer. Lees-McRae will hope to capture the same type of performance this weekend as it had in 2011 when the team reached the conference championship game.