Photo Courtesy of Jacob Turner
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – The Lees-McRae College softball team picked up its first two victories of the 2019 season Tuesday afternoon in Greeneville, Tennessee as the Bobcats swept Tusculum University by scores of 3-1 and 2-1. The pair of wins move Lees-McRae's record on the season to 2-4.
Game 1 recap – Lees-McRae got the scoring started in the top of the first inning with back-to-back doubles from Kara Cunningham and Julie Gast making the scoreboard read 1-0 Bobcats. The score would remain at 1-0 until the bottom of the seventh when the Pioneers tied the game without a benefit of a base hit to force extra innings. With the score knotted at one, Faith Cooke connected for her first collegiate home run in the top of the eighth to give the Bobcats a 3-1 advantage, which turned out to be the final score.
The game-winning home run in the eighth inning by Cooke capped off a stellar outing for her at the plate. For the game Cooke went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Overall, the Bobcat lineup generated its fair share chances as every player in the starting lineup reached base at least once and all but one collected a base hit in the contest.
Freshman Skylar Edwards put together her best collegiate outing to date pitching all eight innings for the Bobcats. Edwards was able to work around three Pioneer hits and two walks to pick up her first victory of her college career. Edwards, who struck out a season-high five hitters in the win, improves her record to 1-1 with victory.
Game 2 recap – Game two was a pitcher's duel as there were just six hits in the contest. Lees-McRae struck first in the opening half inning again with a sacrifice fly by Cunningham plated Caitlyn Ray to give the early edge to the Bobcats. Tusculum answered with a RBI double in the bottom of the second to tie it 1-1. The difference in the game came in the top of the fifth when Ray connected on her first home run of the season to put the Bobcats in front for good, 2-1.
Cunningham got the start in the circle for game two for the Bobcats and had her best outing of the season. The senior pitcher struck out eight Tusculum batters in seven innings of work, while scattering two hits and three walks. The victory moves Cunningham's record to 1-3 on the season.
Next up – The Bobcats will look to maintain this momentum on Friday when they head to Lander to compete in the two-day Bearcat Round Robin tournament in Greenwood, South Carolina. Lees-McRae is scheduled to play Mars Hill at 1:30 p.m. before closing the day out taking on Lander at 4 p.m.