ANDERSON, S.C. --- Junior Valerie Hickey hit her first career homerun in game one and junior Charlie Dutton tossed a shutout in game while the Lees-McRae softball team earned a split with Anderson (S.C.) Sunday afternoon at the AU Softball Complex in Anderson, S.C.
Anderson (S.C.) 9, Lees-McRae 1 (5 Innings)
The Trojans (1-0) opened their season with a win thanks to a four-RBI effort from Cailah Niles. The Bobcats (0-1) enjoyed a two-hit performance from freshman Noel Cassidy (Myrtle Beach, S.C.).
AU used a pair of walks to start a first inning rally while Madison Bivins and Augie Pena combined for three RBI.
The Trojans scratched across another run in the bottom of the second after a Niles sacrifice fly.
Hickey (Umatilla, Fla.) blasted a leadoff homer in the top of the third to cut the deficit to three, 4-1.
AU hung a five-spot in the bottom of the frame, capped off by a three-run shot from Niles.
Pena (1-0) earned the win with four innings of work and allowed one run on five hits.
Freshman Kara Cunningham (Indian Trail, N.C.) (0-1) took the loss after allowing eight hits and five walks. She notched her first collegiate hit in the top of the fifth.
Lees-McRae 1, Anderson (S.C.) 0
The Bobcats (1-1) earned the win with a first inning run while Dutton (Monroe, Ga.) (1-0) twirled a four-hit shutout. The Trojans (1-1) struck out eight times.
Junior Sarah Stallings (Greensboro, N.C.) broke the school record with her 45th career stolen base in top of the first.
She reached on a throwing error to open play before advancing to third on a Cunningham single.
With sophomore Sarah Tucker (Monroe, N.C.) batting, LMC executed a double steal perfectly, with Cunningham swiping second and Stallings stealing home.
Dutton worked around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the second, using a pair of strikeouts and a flyout.
AU threatened in the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff single from Molly Child. Child advanced to third following an error and sacrifice bunt. Dutton buckled down and struck out Pena and got Bivins to flyout.
LMC travels to Carson-Newman Thursday, Feb. 4 for a doubleheader starting at 1:30 p.m. in Jefferson City, Tenn.