Photo Credit to Morgan Corbett
BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Sophomore Sarah Tucker hit two homers and Charlie Dutton struck out seven, but the Lees-McRae softball team dropped a pair of games to King (Tenn.) in Conference Carolinas play on a brisk Wednesday afternoon at the LMC Softball Field in Banner Elk, N.C.
King (Tenn.) 5, Lees-McRae 3
The Tornado (12-23, 6-7 CC) amassed 12 hits, including four from Hannah Devotie. The Bobcats (6-25, 2-7) saw Dutton (Monroe, Ga.) (1-10) turn in seven or more strikeouts for the fourth time this season.
Devotie started her impressive day at the plate with a single to third before stealing second in the top of the first. Hannah Smith plated her with a double to left, 1-0.
King pushed its lead to two, 2-0, after Olivia Lawson drew a bases-loaded walk following a pair of singles and a fielder's choice.
LMC's defense stopped the Tornado from scoring a run in the top of the fourth when Sarah Beth Ashley (Walkertown, N.C.) threw a frozen rope to peg Jennifer Kern at the plate. King had runners on second and third with no outs.
The Bobcat offense missed on an opportunity when Ashley and Sarah Stallings (Greensboro, N.C.) were on third and second, respectively, with one out, but were unable to push across a run.
The Tornado scored twice in the top of the sixth after two walks and an error.
Tucker (Monroe, N.C.) cut the deficit in half with a mammoth two-run blast to left field in the bottom of the frame. Freshman Emily Merriam (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) opened the inning with a walk.
King go the run back in the top of the seventh following a Bobcat error.
LMC's Stallings roped a one-out triple to center before freshman Kara Cunningham (Indian Trail, N.C.) drove her in with a sacrifice fly.
Tucker finished the game 3-for-3 while the Tornado stranded 13 runners.
King (Tenn.) 3, Lees-McRae 1
The Tornado (13-23, 7-7) had three players turn in multi-hit games. The Bobcats' (6-26, 2-8) Dutton worked two scoreless innings of relief.
Junior Taylor Billings (Sophia, N.C.) suffered the loss (4-5) after allowing three runs in five innings of work.
The Tornado broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth with a pair of solo shots from Amber Walker and Kay Brokering, respectively.
Tucker responded with a solo dinger of her own to right field to lead off the bottom of the fourth.
King's Hannah Smith plated Devotie in the top of the fifth to cap off the game's scoring.
LMC travels to Southern Wesleyan Friday, April 8 for a CC doubleheader at 3 & 5 p.m., respectively, in Central, S.C.
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