March 17, 2011

Bobcats wrangle Tornado to win two

Box score

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College softball team used two big innings to power past the King College Tornado on Thursday in a non-conference doubleheader sweep. The Bobcats (13-16) utilized a seven-run second inning to earn a 7-3 victory in game one of the twin-bill, following up with a six-run sixth in game two to take the contest 8-2 on a sunny afternoon in their 2011 home opener.

Alison Armstrong (Bellingham, Mass.) tallied a 2-for-2 effort, driving in two runs to pace the Bobcats against the Tornado (7-15), while Kim Coley (Marion, N.C.) and Lindsey Huntsinger (Asheville, N.C.) each tallied one RBI in the opener. In game two, Kayla Blackburn (Miller's Creek, N.C.) and Paige Coleman (Thomasville, N.C.) each tallied a homerun and four RBI to pace the Bobcats to the win.

Christy Kooch (Knoxville, Tenn.) paced the Tornado with two hits and two RBI in the second game of the twin-killing. Rachel Wilmoth (Morristown, Tenn.) pitched six innings in game two, allowing eight runs on 11 hits, tallying just shy of ten innings on the day, while shutting down the Bobcats over the final three frames of game one.

Game One: Lees-McRae 7, King 3 (Box Score)

The Tornado nearly opened the scoring in the top of the second inning, threatening to plate the game's first run as Laurel Gregg (Mars Hill, N.C.) battled out of trouble, closing the inning with a strikeout to keep King off the board.

In the home half of the inning, the Bobcats sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs on six hits to take an early 7-0 lead. Coleman opened the inning with a single to right center field. Following a pop-out, Karli Robb (Hayes, Va.) loaded the bases with a bunt single to third. Armstrong followed with a single to right-center to plate Coley and pinch-runner Jessica Smith (Gastonia, N.C.).

Lees-McRae tallied their third run when Armstrong and Robb worked a double steal to perfection, plating Robb on the play. The Bobcats added four more runs in the inning to take the seven-run advantage.

King answered with a run in the top of the third when Kendall Brabson (Bean Station, Tenn.) singled home Cassie Ringstaff (Richlands, Va.). The Tornado struck again in the sixth inning with two more runs, falling short of the comeback as Lori Fulmer (Prosperity, S.C.) made two put-outs to end the threat.

Game Two: Lees-McRae 8, King 2 (Box Score)

The Tornado jumped out quickly in game two, plating a run in the top of the first to take the 1-0 lead when Tiffany Harris (Tazewell, Va.) crossed the plate on a Kooch single. The Bobcats responded immediately, evening the tally when Fulmer scored on a Coleman ground-out in the home half of the inning.

King again took the advantage in the top of the third, when Ringstaff crossed the plate on a Kooch double to left field which gave King a 2-1 lead. Lees-McRae again answered in the bottom of the inning as Coleman singled home Blackburn to even the score at 2-2.

The Bobcats grabbed the 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth when Blackburn singled home Robb on a hard hit ball to left field. The score remained a one-run LMC advantage until the home portion of the sixth when Blackburn blasted a three-run homerun to left field with one out. Coleman added a two-out, two-run blast to equal the final mark of 8-2.

The Bobcats return to the diamond on Tuesday, Mar. 22, when they host North Greenville University in a non-conference doubleheader. Game time on the afternoon is slated for 3:00 p.m. on Bobcat Field.

- LMC -