March 27, 2011

Coleman, Robb pace Bobcats to sweep of Falcons

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Paige Coleman (Thomasville, N.C.) and Karli Robb (Hayes, Va.) combined for eight hits to lead the Lees-McRae College softball team to a sweep of Pfeiffer University on Sunday afternoon in Conference Carolinas action. Coleman tallied four hits and four RBI on the day, including a homerun, while Robb scored two runs in a 4-for-8 effort at the plate.

Coleman, Kim Coley (Marion, N.C.), Lindsey Huntsinger (Asheville, N.C.), and Kierstie Moon (Oxford, Ga.) all went deep for the Bobcats (15-19, 4-2 CC) on the day, while Laurel Gregg (Mars Hill, N.C.) and Hollie Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) each picked up a victory from the circle.

Hannah Jackson (Greensboro, N.C.) led the Falcons (13-21, 7-5 CC) at the plate, going 4-for-8 with two doubles and four RBI in the twin-bill. Melanie Conklin (Wellington, Ohio) struck out seven in five and one-third innings pitched for Pfeiffer.

Game One: Lees-McRae 4, Pfeiffer 2 (Box Score)

Pfeiffer struck first in the top half of the third inning when Jackson doubled to spark a two-out rally, advancing to third when Celia Dew (Sanford, N.C.) singled through the left side. Following a walk to load the bases, Jackson crossed the plate on an error to give the Falcons a 1-0 advantage.

The Bobcats responded in the home half of the inning when Coleman laced a single into left-center to score Robb and Huntsinger to put LMC up 2-1. Lees-McRae added two more in the bottom of the fifth on back-to-back shots over the left-center field fence from Coleman and Coley, pushing the margin to 4-1 in favor of the Bobcats.

The Flacons added a run in the top of the seventh when Allison Braswell (Asheboro, N.C.) doubled home Sarah Waylock (Cary, Ill.) to cut the Bobcat lead to 4-2.

Bryce Campbell (Amherst, Va.) closed the contest with a strikeout to earn her fourth save of the season and seal the victory for Lees-McRae. Gregg picked up the win, giving up one run in six innings pitched, while scattering four hits to earn her seventh victory on the season.

Game Two: Lees-McRae 6, Pfeiffer 5 (Box Score)

The Bobcats opened scoring in the bottom of the fourth with two runs, taking advantage of a Falcon miscue to take the 2-0 advantage. Huntsinger reached on a two-base error with one out to set up Coleman, who singled to right-center field to plate the first run. Lori Fulmer (Prosperity, S.C.) entered as a pinch-runner and scored the second run when Anna Carter (Hurdle Mills, N.C.) roped a double to right-center to give the Bobcats the 2-0 advantage.

The Falcons answered with two in the top of the fifth, when Conklin reached on a fielder's choice and stole second. Following a strikeout, Conklin moved to third on a bunt single by Amber Johnson (Spokane, Wash.). Johnson moved into scoring position with a steal, setting up a Jackson two-out single to right which evened the tally at 2-2.

The Bobcats responded with a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning. Following a fly out and strike out, Moon blasted a solo home run to straight-away center to give the Bobcats a 3-2 advantage with her first career long ball. Robb then stroked a single into left field to set the stage for Huntsinger, who laced a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence to give LMC a 5-2 lead.

The Falcons rallied in the top of the seventh inning when Jackson lined a one-out double to right-center, scoring Shelby Brown (South Hill, Va.) and Johnson, with Jackson crossing the plate on an error to even the contest at 5-5. After a strikeout, Dew ripped a double to center and was thrown out at home on a bullet from Moon to Coleman following a Waylock single to end the threat.

In the bottom of the seventh, Moon drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch to kick-start the rally. Robb followed with a bunt single to the hot corner that moved Moon to third. Moon then crossed the plate with the deciding run when Coley reached on an error to end the contest.

Magen West (Whitney, Texas) pitched five solid innings striking out five and walking one in game two, while Crickenberger picked up the victory for the Bobcats with two solid innings of work to close the contest.

The Bobcats return to the diamond on Wednesday, traveling to Due West, S.C. to tangle with Erskine College in Conference Carolinas' action. The double-dip at Erskine is slated for 3 p.m.

-LMC-