Billings, Sheppard Lights Out in Shutouts of Belmont Abbey
BANNER ELK, N.C. ---Lees-McRae freshman Taylor Billings scored a run and tossed a complete game shutout in game one in a 2-0 win against Belmont Abbey before freshman teammate Celeste Sheppard went 2-for-3 from the dish and threw a four-hit shutout in game two while LMC claimed a 3-0 victory Sunday afternoon at LMC Softball Field in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Bobcats (8-29, 3-5 CC) picked up two crucial wins while surpassing last year's win total of seven. The Crusaders (9-30, 3-9) managed four hits in each game.
Game 1 – LMC 2, Belmont Abbey 0
Billings (Sophia, N.C.) (3-3) helped her own cause with a leadoff double in the bottom of the second before Ashley Lindsay (Holly Springs, N.C.) drew a walk. Senior Jessica Smith (Gastonia, N.C.) loaded the bases when she was drilled with an inside pitch.
Sophomore Kendall Fowler (Buford, Ga.) put the Bobcats on the board when she roped an RBI single to center field, scoring Billings.
Freshman Sarah Stallings (Greensboro, N.C.) plated Smith after lofting a sacrifice fly to left field.
Billings found a groove and retired the next eight batters before a Shanie McConnell single ended the streak.
Billings worked around a leadoff single in the seventh to earn her first shutout of the season.
Fowler and Billings went 2-for-3 from the plate to pace the offense.
Game 2 – LMC 3, Belmont Abbey 0
The Crusaders' Kinsey McClure singled to open up the second inning before scooting over to second on a passed ball.
Brooke Baliles advanced her to third on a fielder's choice. However, a heads up play by LMC kept BAC off the board when catcher Amanda Decker (Apex, N.C.) delivered a perfect throw to Sheppard (East Julian, N.C.) to nail McClure at the plate.
Freshman Valerie Hickey (Umatilla, Fla.) stroked a single to center field and stole second.
Teammate Sadie Lagle (Harmony, N.C.) smashed a two-out run-scoring double off the fence to put LMC up 1-0.
Decker followed suit with a RBI single before Hollie Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) greeted Jena Reisanauer with a RBI double down the left field line.
Sheppard (4-13) settled in and used solid defense while snagging a Mackenzie Dziendziel shot up the middle to end a threat in the fifth.
LMC earned a sweep of a CC opponent for the first time since March 25, 2011 when they took two from Pfeiffer.
Lagle notched two doubles while all but two starters recorded a hit.
The Bobcats return to action when they travel to Due West, S.C. to battle Erskine in a CC doubleheader at 3 & 5 p.m. Thursday.
- LMC -