BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Junior Sarah Stallings drilled a pair of triples and freshman Kara Cunningham tallied three hits while the Lees-McRae softball team dropped a pair of Conference Carolinas games to Emmanuel (Ga.) Wednesday afternoon at LMC Softball Field in Banner Elk, N.C.
Emmanuel (Ga.) 11, Lees-McRae 5
The Lions (19-15, 4-4 CC) bashed out 15 hits while leadoff batter Kara Hembree went 4-for-5. The Bobcats (5-20, 1-2) saw all but two starters record a hit.
EC struck for a pair of first inning runs after RBI doubles from Kalen Callaway and Crystal Busbee.
The Lions' Madison Hopper was able to finagle her way out of the mess with a flyout.
EC pushed the lead to three after a solo shot to left center from Brianna Morgan.
Spears drove in sophomore Sarah Tucker (Monroe, N.C.) in the bottom of the fourth. Tucker led the inning off with a walk, stole second before advancing to third on a fielder's choice.
The Lions exploded for five runs in the fifth, powered by back-to-back bases-loaded walks. EC's Jessica Allen lofted a sacrifice fly to left before Hembree delivered a RBI single.
Cunningham (Indian Trail, N.C.) and Karly McRary (Marion, N.C.) touched home in the bottom of the fifth following a fielding blunder by Hopper.
The Bobcats scratched across another run following a RBI groundout from Cunningham. Stallings (Greensboro, N.C.) hit a one-out triple earlier in the inning.
EC plated three more runs in the seventh after racking up four hits.
Spears drove in her second run of the contest with a fielder's choice, allowing Tucker to score.
Both teams combined to strand 19 runners.
Cunningham (1-9) suffered the loss after allowing eight runs and striking out seven.
Emmanuel (Ga.) 2, Lees-McRae 1
The Lions (20-15, 5-4) snuck out the win despite being held to four hits. The Bobcats (5-21, 1-3) enjoyed a two-hit effort from Cunningham.
EC scored its two runs in the top of the second following a hit batsman and a pair of RBI singles.
Jorden Williams drove in Aubree Thacker before scoring two batters later, thanks to a knock from Halle Cheek.
LMC's defense impressed by turning a pair of double plays in the contest.
The Bobcats loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth thanks to some inaccuracies from EC's Erin Harden. However, Harden clamped down and escaped the jam with a flyout.
Junior Valerie Hickey (Umatilla, Fla.) singled to left center with one out in the seventh.
Stallings cranked a triple down the left field line, but was thrown out at the plate after the Lions defense produced two perfect throws.
Junior Taylor Billings (Sophia, N.C.) took the tough loss (3-3) after allowing one earned run.
LMC travels to Belmont Abbey Saturday, April 2 for a CC doubleheader at 2 & 4 p.m. in Belmont, N.C.
- LMC -