Photo Courtesy of Sammy Croft
BANNER ELK, N.C. – After rain postponed its twin bill at Converse Sunday, the Lees-McRae College softball team will return to the field Tuesday when it visits Belmont Abbey for a Conference Carolinas doubleheader. First pitch between the Crusaders and Bobcats is set for 2 p.m.
Last Time Out – Lees-McRae opened conference play with a pair of wins over Southern Wesleyan on March 17 by scores of 3-0 and 1-0. The victories pushed LMC's record to 7-15 overall and 2-0 in league play in 2018.
Cunningham continues to roll – Junior pitcher Kara Cunningham picked up both wins for LMC at SWU improving her record to 7-7 on the season. The Indian Trail, North Carolina native ranks in the top five among pitchers in the conference in wins (7), complete games (8), innings pitched (82.2), strikeouts (74) and ERA (1.61).
Putting together a streak – Those pair of victories over the Warriors marked the first time that the Bobcats have won back-to-back games this season. If LMC wins one or both games at Belmont Abbey Tuesday, it will mark the longest winning streak for the team since February 2017 when it rattled off five wins in a row.
Bats are key for the Bobcats – The recipe for success this season for Lees-McRae can be simply traced to the team's ability to hit. LMC is hitting .307 as a team and outscoring opponents 28-9 in its seven wins. On the flip side when the Bobcats lose a game, they are hitting just .212 and they are being outscored 80-28.
About Belmont Abbey – The Crusaders enter Tuesday's twin bill with the Bobcats with a record of 10-24 overall and 3-5 in conference games. BAC dropped its last two games at Newberry on Saturday by scores of 5-4 and 6-2. Much like Lees-McRae, the Crusaders are a team reliant on pitching as their team batting average is just .229. Overall, the Crusaders have a team ERA of 3.74, and they have three pitchers that have thrown 57 or more innings this season.
Series History vs. the Crusaders – Lees-McRae and Belmont Abbey have been very competitive over the last handful of seasons. LMC and BAC have split the season series in each of the last three years. The last time that either team swept the season series was in 2014 when the Bobcats took a pair from the Crusaders, 2-0 and 3-0.