Banner Elk, NC--Spurred by a lead-off double by pitcher Amanda Dodson (Walnut Cove, NC) and a three-run homerun by freshman Anna Carter (Hurdle Mills, NC ) in the first inning, the Lady Bobcats pulled out of an offensive slump to take a 12-6 win over visiting Conference Carolinas opponent Belmont Abbey Sunday afternoon. The Lady Bobcats then lost a 5-0 lead in game two to fall 10-5 against the Crusaders. With the split the Lady Bobcats improve to 14-16 on the year and 4-9 in conference while Belmont falls to 8-27 (2-10).
The Lady Bobcats with 12 runs, 13 hits (including four doubles and a home run), and four stolen bases proved that they have the ability to excel offensively and also took advantage of five errors on the part of the Crusaders to get themselves in the win column. Nine of the Lady Bobcats had hits in the contest with RBIs distributed among seven of them.
Amanda Dodson pitched five innings and averaged one strikeout per inning before handing the ball over, with the score 8-6, to freshman Magen West (Whitney, TX). West closed out the game, keeping the Crusaders scoreless in the final two innings while the Bobcats added four insurance runs.
West started on the mound in game two, continuing to hold the Crusaders scoreless through the first three innings and fueling Lady Bobcats' offense with her first collegiate homerun (three RBIs) in the third to give Lees-McRae a 5-0 lead heading into the fourth. However, the Lady Bobcats would not score again in the remaining innings.
Belmont Abbey finally got on the board scoring three runs in the fourth off two doubles and a pair of singles, then added a run in both the fifth and six to tie up the game five all. In the seventh the Crusaders began hitting West, who was pitching her ninth inning of the day, and she handed the pitching duties over to Nicole Baxter (Denver, NC). Baxter, after one out, was then relieved by Lauren Gisler (Peachtree City, GA). The Crusaders scored five runs to take a 10-5 lead, then squelched the Lady Bobcats attempt to rally in the bottom of the seventh to claim the victory.
"We are striving to come together in all areas but came up short defensively today. We plan to stay positive and put all three together: pitching, hitting and defense as we approach the conference tournament. Our goals include getting better every day and keeping our great team chemistry," said Coach Julie Kennedy.
The Lady Bobcats will host Erskine College on Wednesday, April 2nd with games set to begin at 4:00pm & 2:00pm.
Pictured: Magen West