Photo Courtesy of Jacob Turner
ANDERSON, S.C. – The Lees-McRae College softball team fell twice on the road at Anderson (S.C.) University Sunday afternoon to open its 2019 season. Lees-McRae dropped game one by a score of 6-1 before the Trojans picked up an 11-3 victory in five innings in game two.
Game 1 Recap – All of the offense in Sunday's first game of the day occurred in the third inning. Noel Cassidy got things started with a single. Caitlyn Ray followed with a double and then Cassidy scored a wild pitch in the next at bat. With the Bobcats leading 1-0, the Trojans scored six runs on just three hits to get all the runs they would need to seal the 6-1 victory. The big blow in game one came from Breanna Hagerty, who hit a grand slam in the six-run third inning.
The duo of Ray and Cassidy both collected two hits each to pace the Bobcat offense in game one. Kara Cunningham, who started in the circle for Lees-McRae in game one, accounted for the other Bobcat hit with a double in the fourth.
In the circle, Cunningham took the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits in six innings. Cunningham struggled a bit with control as she walked six batters in her first outing of 2019. The Indian Trail, North Carolina native did strike out nine Trojan hitters over the course of six innings. Cunningham now has 343 career strikeouts, which is just three shy of moving her into third place on the program's all-time strikeout list.
Game 2 Recap – Much like it did in game one, Lees-McRae struck first and it held a 1-0 lead going to the bottom of the third. Anderson's bats would come alive after that totaling 10 hits on its way to scoring 11 runs in the second game. The 11-run offensive outburst was more than enough for the Trojans to complete the sweep of the Bobcats as they went on to win this contest, 11-3.
Offensively, the Bobcats were led in game two by freshman Julie Gast. Gast went 2-for-3 with two RBI on the day. In addition to Gast's performance, Lees-McRae's top three hitters in its batting order accounted for the other three hits in Sunday's second game. Ray went 1-for-3 with a run scored, while Cassidy also picked up a base hit and scored a run. Finally, Cunningham drove in the team's third run, scored a run herself and went 1-for-1 with a walk in the tilt.
In the circle, freshman Skylar Edwards made her collegiate debut. Edwards tossed four innings in her debut allowing 11 runs (two earned) on 10 hits.
Next up – Lees-McRae will be back in action with another non-conference twin bill on Wednesday when it travels to Tusculum University. Game times for Wednesday are set for 2 and 4 p.m.