BURLINGTON, N.C. --- Lees-McRae freshman Sarah Stallings and sophomore Sadie Lagle turned in multi-hit games in the opener of the Conference Carolinas Softball Tournament, but LMC fell 3-1 to No. 1 Limestone, but bounced back and survived a late scare to boot No. 3 North Greenville with a 4-3 victory on Friday at Springwood Park in Burlington, N.C.
No. 1 Limestone 3, No. 8 Lees-McRae 1
Playing the Saints for the third consecutive game, LMC (9-36) caused a ruckus in the first inning when Stallings (Greensboro, N.C.) led off with a single and motored to third after Valerie Hickey (Umatilla, Fla.) reached second on an error.
Junior Amanda Decker (Apex, N.C.) delivered a RBI bunt single before stealing second. However, Taylor Wigmore settled down and retired the next two batters.
LC (29-16) knotted it up at one when Sam Thornton roped a one-out double before Alycia Stiles connected on a run scoring single up the middle.
The game would last well over three hours due to rain showers throughout the day.
The Saints would grab a 2-1 lead following a Paige Bolding RBI double before Ashley Cox stretched the lead to two with a RBI single.
The Bobcats looked poised to cut the deficit to one, but a fine defensive play cut down Taylor Billings (Sophia, N.C.) at the plate.
Stallings tallied a two-out single in the top of the seventh, but LMC was unable to capitalize.
Wigmore went the distance while scattering seven hits in the win.
Senior Hollie Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) took the loss while allowing three runs in two innings of work.
No. 8 Lees-McRae 4, No. 3 North Greenville 3
Coach Merritt Yackey's squad displayed patience when they produced consecutive one out walks before a NGU fielding error plated Hickey in the top of the first. Lagle (Harmony, N.C.) would follow suit by scoring on an illegal pitch
Lagle was tabbed to the Conference Carolinas Softball All-Conference First-Team last night.
The Crusaders would benefit from a throwing error and shave the deficit in half in the bottom of the third.
Lagle connected on a two-run double in the top of the fifth after senior Jessica Smith (Gastonia, N.C.) and Hickey reached on singles.
LMC starter Celeste Sheppard (East Julian, N.C.) wiggled out of a jam in the bottom of the sixth when she got Christie Reilly to ground out with runners on second and third.
The Crusaders would make it interesting in the bottom of the seventh when Sarah Armstrong connected on a solo blast before Jordan Willingham made it a one-run ballgame when she scored on a Jordan Farmer single. Freshman Charlie Dutton (Monroe, Ga.) composed herself and recorded a strikeout and groundout to end the threat.
LMC starter Celeste Sheppard (East Julian, N.C.) cruised through six innings on her way to the win while Dutton earned her second save of the year.
LMC will play in a win-or-go-home game against the loser of Mount Olive/Limestone at 2 p.m. tomorrow.
- LMC -