Decker, Fulmer pace Bobcats to split with Barton

Decker, Fulmer pace Bobcats to split with Barton

WILSON, N.C. --- Amanda Decker (Apex, N.C.) launched her first career home run and Lori Fulmer (Prosperity, S.C.) scored three runs to lead the Lees-McRae College softball team to a doubleheader split with Barton College in Conference Carolinas play on Saturday afternoon.

Lees-McRae (7-26, 2-4 CC) rallied for a 7-6 win in game one, scoring three runs in the sixth, while Barton (7-19, 4-10 CC) pushed across three tallies in the fourth en route to a 5-3 victory in the night cap. The Bobcats recorded 18 hits on the day, including 10 base knocks in game two, as Barton posted six extra base hits in the twin-bill.

Fulmer paced the Bobcats with a 4-for-6 day, as Kristen Oakes (Lenoir, N.C.) and Sadie Lagle (Harmony, N.C.) each posted three base knocks. Hanna Huckabee (Oak Ridge, N.C.) drove in a team-high three runs, as Oakes posted two RBI and Brooke Sheridan (Rosman, N.C.) added two hits.

Oakes took the ball in game one, surrendering four earned runs in four innings while striking out two. Hollie Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) came in for the final three frames, holding the Bulldogs to just two hits to pick up the victory. The junior right-hander got the nod in the night cap, allowing four earned runs and striking out four in six innings of work.

Liz White led the way for Barton, going 6-for-8 in the twin-bill as Elizabeth Webb tallied five hits and drove in four runs. Crystal Britton added four base knocks, while Emily Leagon drove in two runs on two hits.

White got the nod in game one, allowing four unearned runs on four hits and striking out six through four frames. Autumn Pittman came in to relive White, surrendering three unearned runs on four base knocks in three innings of work. White took the ball in the night cap, striking out nine and allowing two earned runs in a complete game effort to earn the win.

Game One: Lees-McRae 7, Barton 6 (Box Score)

Lagle and Oakes each tallied three hits in the contest, as Oakes went 3-for-3 with two RBI and Huckabee drove in three runs. The Bobcats got on the board first in the top of the third, taking an early 1-0 lead when Huckabee drove Fulmer in from third. Barton answered with two in the bottom of the inning, claiming a 2-1 advantage on a two-run single by Webb.

The Bobcats responded with three in the fourth, retaking the lead at 4-2 on an RBI single by Sheridan and a two-run base knock from Huckabee. Barton countered with four in the bottom of the frame, claiming a 6-4 advantage following a two-run double by Leagon and an RBI single by Pittman.

Lees-McRae battled back in the sixth, plating three runs on three hits to take a 7-6 lead on a sacrifice fly by Jessica Smith (Gastonia, N.C.), which scored Huckabee from third after Crickenberger drove in Sheridan with an RBI single.

Crickenberger shut the door from there, stranding three Barton runners on base in the final two innings to clinch the victory for the Bobcats.

Game Two: Barton 5, Lees-McRae 3 (Box Score)

The Bobcats took an early lead in the top of the first, plating the game's first run on an RBI single by Oakes that scored Sheridan from third. Barton answered with a run in the bottom of the inning, evening the score at 1-1 with a run-scoring single by Rebecka Morgan.

Decker responded for the Bobcats in the top of the second, launched a lead-off home run to straight away center to claim a 2-1 advantage for Lees-McRae. Barton would counter with one in the third and three in the fourth, taking a 5-2 lead on back-to-back RBI singles by Britton and Leagon before Britton scored on a bases loaded walk by Amanda Schatz.

The Bobcats refused to give in, loading the bases on an infield single by Fulmer in the sixth with two outs before Leagon struck out the final batter of the inning to quell the rally. Lees-McRae fought back in the seventh, cutting the lead to 5-3 on a clutch two-out single by Oakes that scored Lagle from first. Leagon answered for the Bulldogs, forcing a pop out during the next at-bat to close out the victory and salvage the split for Barton.

Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Monday when the Bobcats travel to Mount Olive, N.C. to take on Mount Olive College in league play at 2 p.m.

- LMC -