Photo Courtesy of Jacob Turner
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College softball team has a pair of doubleheaders scheduled over the next few days. First, the Bobcats will travel to Charlotte on Sunday for a double dip at Queens (N.C.) before returning home Monday for their home opener with two games against Young Harris. Sunday's twin bill is set to begin at 3 p.m., while Monday's games are set to get underway at 1 p.m.
Last time out – The Bobcats picked up a pair of victories back on March 2 by defeating Lander, 2-1, and Mars Hill, 8-4. Lees-McRae, which has won five of its last six games, currently has a record of 5-5 in 2019.
Tops in ERA – Entering this weekend, Lees-McRae leads Conference Carolinas with a 1.97 team earned run average (ERA). On a national scale, the Bobcats rank 29th out of 268 institutions in ERA. Additionally, no pitcher that has logged innings in the circle for Lees-McRae this spring has an ERA higher than 2.30.
Best start in a while – The team's current 5-5 record through 10 games is the best the program has had in quite a while. The last time Lees-McRae had a better record through 10 contests was in 2009 when the program began that campaign with a record of 6-4. The 2009 Bobcats finished with a record of 22-20.
About Queens & Young Harris – Both Queens and Young Harris have records above the .500 mark heading into the middle part of March. Queens, which is 8-4, has not played since February 24 when it knocked off West Liberty and Francis Marion by scores of 8-2 and 7-1. Offensively, the Royals are led by McKenzie McCullen, who is hitting .444 with four home runs and 15 RBI. In the circle, Queens has a 3.01 team ERA and has averaged over a strikeout an inning in 2019.
Young Harris, meanwhile, enters the weekend with a record of 11-5. The Mountain Lions are receiving votes in the national poll after being ranked No. 18 in the same poll a week ago. Young Harris has nearly doubled up its opponents in terms of runs scored this spring (78-40) and has a team batting average of .294. Pitching is also a strength for the Mountain Lions with a team ERA of 2.25 to go along with 114 strikeouts in 106 innings.
Series History vs. Queens & Young Harris – Lees-McRae has seen Queens quite a few times over the years. The Bobcats and Royals have matched up a total of 20 times since the 2006 season with the latter coming out on top in 17 of those contests. As for the series against Young Harris, Monday's games will be the first-ever meetings between the two programs.