Photo Courtesy of Jacob Turner
GREENWOOD, S.C. – The Lees-McRae College softball team picked up two more victories Saturday afternoon on day two of the Bearcat Round Robin Tournament. Lees-McRae started the day by knocking off Lander, 2-1, before upending Mars Hill, 8-4. The pair of wins push Lees-McRae's record back to the .500 mark on the season at an even 5-5.
Game 1 recap – Lees-McRae came out swinging in the top of the first inning against Lander. Three straight singles and then a sacrifice fly by Faith Cooke gave Lees-McRae a quick 1-0 lead before Kara Cunningham knocked in another run with a double to add to the lead. Facing a two-run hole and with two more runners in scoring position, Lander changed pitchers and got out of the jam with no further damage.
Guarding a 2-0 lead, Cunningham did a wonderful job pitching out of trouble. Lander had at least one runner on base in every inning against Cunningham, but the senior pitcher for the Bobcats held the Bearcat offense to one run in seven innings to power her team to a 2-1 victory. Cunningham's victory boosted her record to 2-3 on the season.
Offensively, the Bobcats logged seven hits in the tilt against Lander with four of those coming in the first inning. Julie Gast paced these efforts going 2-for-3 against the Bearcats. With another multi-hit effort, Gast now has five such games so far during her freshman season.
Game 2 recap – It looked early on in game two that Lees-McRae's winning streak may stop at two as Mars Hill got out to an early 4-0 lead. However, a clutch grand slam by Katie Robinson in the bottom of the fourth swung the momentum back to the Bobcats and tied the score at four. Lees-McRae struck again in the fifth as both Robinson and Cunningham launched two-run home runs to finish off an impressive 8-4 comeback victory.
There were several Bobcats that had stellar outings offensively in contest. Robinson led these efforts with those two home runs and six RBI. It marks Robinson's first multi-home run game of her career and set a new career-high with six runs driven in. In addition to Robinson's outing, Caitlyn Ray, Cunningham and Cooke also posted two-hit days in the victory.
After coming in to relieve starter Skylar Edwards in the first inning, Cassidy Largen came in and pitched five solid innings allowing two runs on five hits. With this effort, Largen picked up her second win in as many days improving her record to 2-0 in 2019.
Next up – The Bobcats, now winners of three straight games, will be back in action on Monday when they head to Wingate University for a doubleheader. These games were rescheduled from a rainout earlier this season on March 23. First pitch for the twin bill is set for 1 p.m.