Cunningham Fans 12, Tucker Stays Hot; Softball Falls Short in Pair of One-Run Affairs

Cunningham Fans 12, Tucker Stays Hot; Softball Falls Short in Pair of One-Run Affairs

TIGERVILLE, S.C. --- Freshman Kara Cunningham struck out a career-high 12 batters and sophomore Sarah Tucker notched three hits while the Lees-McRae softball team dropped a pair of one-run contests to North Greenville in Conference Carolinas play at the Jan McDonald Field Friday afternoon in Tigerville, S.C.

North Greenville 4, Lees-McRae 3
The Crusaders (22-22, 8-11 CC) snuck out a win thanks to a three-run seventh inning, including the walkoff hit from Morgan Roach. The Bobcats (10-33, 6-13) scored their three runs in the top of the third.

Cunningham (Indian Trail, N.C.) struck out a batter in every inning, including the side in the top of the sixth. The freshman sits ninth in the conference in strikeouts and fifth in the league in strikeouts per game (6.32).

Junior Sarah Stallings (Greensboro, N.C.) hit her fourth triple of the season with one out in the top of the third to begin the Bobcat rally. Stallings is tied for second in the conference in triples.

After Cunningham followed with a fielder's choice and stolen base, freshman Kasey Klutz (Leland, N.C.) came through with a RBI single down the left field line.

Freshman Karly McRary (Marion, N.C.) joined the party with a two-run double to left, 3-0.

NGU's Carson O'Donald (12-8) settled in after a walk to Sarah Tucker (Monroe, N.C.) to retire two batters with pop ups.

The Crusaders' Celsea Rivers cut the deficit to two, 3-1, with a solo blast in the bottom of the third.

Cunningham wiggled out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a strikeout looking.

In the bottom of the seventh, NGU opened the frame with a single and walk before a strikeout.

After Elizabeth Carman reached on a fielder's choice and an error on the play, NGU's Megan Johnson tied the contest at three.

Cunningham fanned pinch hitter Haley Gray for the second out, but Roach delivered the game-winner with a single down the right field line.

North Greenville 5, Lees-McRae 4
The Crusaders (23-22, 9-11) earned the win despite amassing only five hits. The Bobcats (10-34, 6-14) notched their second 11-hit performance in three games and their third double-digit effort in the last five.

Following a single and NGU error, the Bobcats notched a pair of stolen bases and two fielder's choices to stake themselves to a 2-0 lead in the third.

The Crusaders claimed the lead with a three-run bottom of the third, thanks to a double, error and RBI groundout.

NGU pushed the lead to three, 5-2, following a pair of hits and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth.

Klutz doubled home a run in the top of the sixth and two batters later, Tucker notched a RBI on a single to the pitcher.

Tucker recorded three hits in the contest.

LMC had a golden opportunity in the top of the seventh when it loaded the bases, but was unable to scratch across a run.

The Bobcats conclude regular season play Saturday, April 23 at 1&3 p.m. with a doubleheader at Limestone in Gaffney, S.C.

- LMC -