Photo Courtesy of Sammy Croft
BANNER ELK, N.C. – After opening its 2018 season last weekend, the Lees-McRae College softball team will be back in action with six games this week. First, Lees-McRae will travel to Tennessee on Tuesday to take on Tusculum in a twin bill beginning at 2 p.m. Following the matchups with the Pioneers, LMC will compete in the Lenoir-Rhyne Bear Bash on Saturday and Sunday. The Bobcats will take on both Lenoir-Rhyne and UVa-Wise once on each day of the event.
Last Time Out – The Bobcats dropped a pair of games at No. 20 Carson-Newman last Saturday in Jefferson City, Tennessee. The Eagles knocked off the Bobcats 8-0 in five innings in game one before completing the sweep with a 3-0 victory in game two.
Nice Debut for Digregorio – Sophomore Chelsea Digregorio had a stellar performance to open her second season as a Bobcat on Saturday. Digregorio collected three hits in five at-bats in the two games to finish the weekend with a .600 batting average. Her batting average is tied for the second-highest in the conference after the first week of action.
Strikeout Stat – Coming off the seventh-best strikeout total in the history of the program in 2017, junior Kara Cunningham is well on her way to matching or even surpassing that total this spring after striking out seven Eagle hitters in her first start of the season on Saturday.
Freshman makes impressive first impression – Facing the 20th ranked team in the nation in your first collegiate start would seem to be a tall task. Freshman pitcher Cassidy Largen faced that challenge and fared well against the Eagles pitching six innings, allowed three runs on five hits and struck out three.
About the Opponents – Tusculum will take the field for the first time this spring when it hosts LMC on Tuesday afternoon. The Pioneers finished last season with a 28-25 record overall and a 10-10 mark in league play. TC figures to be led by the trio of Emily Hester, Taylor Johnson and Sammie West who all earned Preseason All-Conference honors last month.
Lenior-Rhyne has already played five games this spring and have a 2-3 record after those contests. The strength of LRU's team is its pitching staff boasting a team ERA of 2.80 so far in 2018.
UVa-Wise has yet to take the field in 2018. In 2017, the Cavaliers finished with a 36-19 record overall and made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Leading the way for the Cavaliers will probably be senior Taylor Brandts. Brandts was a member of the D2CCA All-American Honorable Mention last season after finishing with a 23-7 record and a 0.99 ERA.
Series Histories vs. Opponents – Lees-McRae is no stranger to any of the three teams it will face this week. LMC went 1-1 against Tusculum and 2-1 against UVa-Wise last season. Lenoir-Rhyne, meanwhile, has taken on the Bobcats a total of 15 times and it has a 13-2 record. LMC's last win over the Bears came in 1998, 5-2.