Photo Courtesy of Jacob Turner
BANNER ELK, N.C. – After opening its home schedule on Monday, the Lees-McRae College softball team will be back in action this week with three more doubleheaders on its home field. First, the Bobcats host Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday before welcoming league foes North Greenville and Southern Wesleyan to the High Country on Saturday and Sunday. Wednesday's and Sunday's games are set to begin at 1 p.m., while Saturday's tilts are scheduled to get underway at 2 p.m.
Last time out – The Bobcats split a pair of games on Monday against Young Harris. The Mountain Lions upended Lees-McRae by a score of 8-0 in six innings before the Bobcats rebounded to win game two, 9-1, in five innings. The results Monday pushed Lees-McRae's record to 6-6 on the season.
Senior spotlight – An integral part of Lees-McRae's success so far this season has been the play of senior Kara Cunningham. Cunningham currently ranks fifth in the league with a 1.83 ERA, while also ranking eighth in the league with a .419 batting average. Cunningham is the only player in Conference Carolinas that ranks in the top 10 in both categories.
Opening league play – Lees-McRae will open its Conference Carolinas schedule this weekend with games against NGU and SWU. The Bobcats look to improve upon an 11-9 record in league action last season this spring.
About the opponents – Lincoln Memorial comes into Wednesday's games with Lees-McRae riding an eight-game winning streak. The Railsplitters, which are currently 18-4 on the 2019 season, boast a stellar offense. As a team, LMU is hitting .344 and it has outscored its opponents 170-81 this spring.
North Greenville is currently 6-11 on the 2019 campaign, including a 1-1 mark in league action. The strength of the Crusaders is their pitching staff as they have a team ERA of 2.95 through the season's first 17 games.
Despite the season being only about a month old, Southern Wesleyan has already nearly matched its win total from last spring. SWU is 7-9 in 2019 after finishing 2018 with a record of 8-39. A player to watch for the Warriors is Lydia Clanton. Clanton leads the team hitting .378 with three home runs, 17 RBI and five stolen bases.
Series history vs. opponents – Lees-McRae has seen all three of its opponents this week several times over the years. The Bobcats are 1-7 all-time against LMU with the last meetings occurring in 2017. As for NGU and SWU, the Bobcats dropped both games to North Greenville last season (5-0 & 6-4) but won both against Southern Wesleyan (1-0 & 3-0).