Crusaders conquer Bobcats

Box score

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Kimberly Robertson (Walterboro, S.C.) tallied five hits and a walk in seven plate appearances to pace the North Greenville University Crusaders to two victories over Lees-McRae College in softball action on Tuesday afternoon. Robertson also picked up the victory in game two, striking out three and allowing five runs in six and two-thirds innings to pace the Crusaders (8-14).

Anna Carter (Hurdle Mills, N.C.) led the Bobcat attack, tallying four hits in five at-bats, while reaching base twice on a hit-by-pitch and a base on balls. Paige Coleman (Thomasville, N.C.) and Bryce Campbell (Amherst, Va.) each belted a home run and drove in three from the plate for the Bobcats (13-18).

Game One: North Greenville 6, Lees-McRae 5 (Box Score)

The Bobcats struck first in the bottom of the third inning when Kim Coley (Marion, N.C.) laced a one-out double down the left field line. Following a Lindsey Huntsinger (Asheville, N.C.) walk, Kayla Blackburn (Millers Creek, N.C.) lined a two-out single into right field and moved to second on the throw to the plate to score Coley. Carter then stepped to the plate and singled home Huntsinger and Blackburn to give the Bobcats a 3-0 advantage.

The Crusaders answered in the next half-inning when Taylor Roof (Chester, S.C.) helped her own cause, ripping a three-run blast over the right centerfield fence to even the tally at 3-3. North Greenville added another run in the visitor half of the fifth inning to take the lead, and added two more in the top of the sixth when Marielena Santos (Goose Creek, S.C.) ripped a two-run triple down the left field line to give the Crusaders a 6-3 advantage.

Coley led off the bottom of the seventh, taking first on a hit-by-pitch and moving to third on a Huntsinger double off the left field fence. Coleman then singled home Coley with a base knock to left before moving to second when Carter walked to load the bases. Karli Robb (Hayes, Va.) followed with a single into right field to plate Huntsinger, cutting the Crusader advantage to 6-5 before Roof forced a pop-out to end the inning and the contest.

Game Two: North Greenville 7, Lees-McRae 5 (Box Score)

The Crusaders grabbed the early lead in game two, plating two runs in the top of the third inning to open a 2-0 advantage. North Greenville extended the lead to 3-0 in the top of the sixth, when Kansas Wofford (Landrum, S.C.) drove a ball to deep centerfield to sacrifice home the run.

The Crusaders pieced together another rally in the top of the seventh, when Robertson doubled down the left field line to open the inning. Karli Taylor (Taylors, S.C.) capped the inning for the Crusaders, sending a ball over the centerfield wall to plate two and extend the lead to 7-0 in favor of NGU.

Huntsinger walked to open the home half of the seventh, and Coleman followed with a blast over the left field wall to get LMC on the board. After Robertson forced a groundout to shortstop, Carter laced a single into center and Robb walked to bring Campbell to the plate for the Bobcats. Campbell rose to the challenge, belting a 2-1 offering over the centerfield fence to cut the Crusader advantage to 7-5.

Roof then entered in relief, retiring the final two batters of the inning to quell the rally and earn the save with a pair of groundouts.

The Bobcats return to the diamond on Thursday when they host Limestone College in their Conference Carolinas home opener. Game time in Banner Elk, N.C. is slated for 3:00 p.m. on Bobcat Field.

-LMC-