Railsplitters sweep Bobcats in Tuesday twin-bill

Box score

HARROGATE, Tenn. --- The Lincoln Memorial University softball team continued its season-opening winning streak with a doubleheader sweep of Lees-McRae College on Tuesday afternoon in a non-conference matchup.

Lincoln Memorial (10-0) surrendered 17 hits to the Bobcats (6-6), but held LMC to a 4-for-22 clip with runners on base en route to wins of 3-1 and 4-0. The Railsplitters posted a trio of doubles and drew eight walks on the day, while LMC tallied a home run and struck out 10 LMU batters.

Meagan Knowles (West Palm Beach, Fla.) paced the Bobcats with a 5-for-6 day at the plate, while Paige Coleman (Thomasville, N.C.), Lindsey Huntsinger (Asheville, N.C.), Kim Coley (Marion, N.C.), and Kierstie Moon (Oxford, Ga.) each posted a multi-hit day. Huntsinger tallied the lone Bobcat run of the day with a solo home run, her fifth of the season, in game one.

Laurel Gregg (Mars Hill, N.C.) made the start for the Bobcats in game one, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings of work. Magen West (Whitney, Texas) got the nod in the night cap, surrendering four runs and striking out five Railsplitters through four innings. Hollie Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) tossed two scoreless innings of relief in game two for Lees-McRae.

Brianna Mulkey (Kettering, Ohio) led the Railsplitters with a 4-for-8 day at the dish, while Kristi Franz (Vandalia, Ohio) and Taylor McGinnis (Powell, Tenn.) each tallied three hits. Franz drove in a team-high four runs, as McGinnis posted two doubles and two RBI.

Meghan LaFevor (Columbia, Tenn.) got the nod in game one, allowing one run on eight hits and striking out seven in a complete-game effort. Cierra Mudd (Washburn, Tenn.) followed with a complete-game shutout in the night cap, scattering nine hits and striking out three in seven innings of work.

Game One: Lincoln Memorial 3, Lees-McRae 1 (Box Score)

The opener remained scoreless until the top of the sixth, when Huntsinger launched a solo home run to right field with one out to give Lees-McRae a narrow 1-0 lead. Lincoln Memorial answered in the bottom of the inning, tallying a trio of runs on an RBI single by McGinnis and a two-run base knock by Franz to take a decisive 3-1 advantage. The Bobcats would threaten in the seventh, when Anna Carter (Hurdle Mills, N.C.) and Knowles each singled early in the frame. LaFevor then shut the door, forcing an inning-ending double play to clinch the victory.

Game Two: Lincoln Memorial 4, Lees-McRae 0 (Box Score)

Each team had several scoring chances in the early innings, as LMC put a pair of runners on base in the third and the Railsplitters left the bags loaded in the bottom of the inning after filling the diamond with only one out.

Lincoln Memorial tallied the game's first runs in the following inning, putting runners on second and third with one out for Franz, who laced a single up the middle to score Danae Reed (Broadway, Va.) and McGinnis to give the Railsplitters a 2-0 lead. The Railsplitters then doubled the margin to 4-0 in the fifth on back-to-back doubles by Sarah Walz (Innisfail, Alberta, Canada) and McGinnis after Bridget Eicher (Hicksville, Ohio) drew a leadoff walk. Lees-McRae threatened once again in the sixth, loading the bases with two outs following a Carter walk before Mudd struck out the final batter of the inning to quell the rally.

Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Wednesday when the Bobcats travel to Greeneville, Tenn. to take on Tusculum College in a 2 p.m. doubleheader.

- LMC -