Photo Courtesy of Sammy Croft
BANNER ELK, N.C. – Being in front of its hometown crowd for the first time this season, the Lees-McRae College softball team treated them to a pair of comeback walk-off wins over Mount Olive Thursday afternoon. LMC won game one 5-4 after Katie Robinson notched a RBI single in the bottom of the seventh. Following that exciting victory, senior Sarah Tucker hit a walk-off grand slam in the seventh inning of game two to finish off the sweep for the Bobcats, 6-2. The victories propel the Bobcats to a 12-16 overall record and a 7-1 mark within the conference.
Game One Recap – Mount Olive jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on the Bobcats to open the scoring on Thursday. LMC, however, slugged three solo home runs to come back and tie the score at 3-3 going into the seventh inning. UMO scored one in the top half of the frame before Robinson came through with the clutch RBI single to give the victory to the Bobcats, 5-4.
Robinson, who also slugged one of those solo home runs to get the Bobcats back into the game, finished 4-for-4 in game one with three RBI. Both of those marks were new career-highs for Robinson. Caitlyn Ray, who also hit a home run in the comeback, was one of three Bobcats to finish with two hits in game one joining Kirsten Doss and Alix Green. Rounding out the offensive standouts for LMC was Emily Merriam, who hit her first home run of the spring in the sixth inning.
Kara Cunningham tossed all seven innings for Lees-McRae in game one allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts. The victory in game one pushes Cunningham's record on the season to 11-7.
Game Two Recap – The backend of Thursday's doubleheader was much more of a pitchers' duel. The score read 2-1 Lees-McRae heading to the seventh inning. UMO tied the game in their half of the final frame before Tucker cleared the bases in the bottom half with the grand slam to send the Bobcats to their second straight conference sweep.
In addition to Tucker's grand slam in the seventh, Ray also had a good game two at the plate going 3-for-4 and she scored three of team's six runs. Merriam, Doss, Cunningham and Noel Cassidy also notched hits in game two for LMC.
Cassidy Largen, who started game two for Lees-McRae, did not factor in the decision, but she put together arguably her best start of her collegiate career. Largen pitched the first six innings allowing one run on six hits to go along with three strikeouts. Cunningham ended up picking up her second win of the day in relief of Largen giving her 12 wins on the season. Her 12 wins are tied for the third-most by a Bobcat pitcher in a single-season in the history of the program. Cunningham needs just four more wins to break this record.
Next Up – Lees-McRae will look to extend this current winning streak this Sunday when it hosts Barton in another Conference Carolinas twin bill. First pitch between the Bulldogs and Bobcats is set for noon from the LMC Softball Field.