Photo Courtesy of Jake Miller
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College softball team will return to Banner Elk this weekend for a pair of doubleheaders. First, the Bobcats will host Belmont Abbey on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. before welcoming Catawba to town on Sunday for a non-conference twin bill beginning at 1 p.m.
Last time out – The Bobcats split a pair of one run games last weekend at Emmanuel (GA) College. Lees-McRae fell in game one by a score of 4-3 in eight innings before rebounding to take game two, 6-5. The split moved Lees-McRae's record to 12-14 overall and 6-6 within Conference Carolinas play.
Senior celebration on Saturday – Prior to Saturday's doubleheader with Belmont Abbey, the Bobcats will honor their three seniors on this season's team: Emily Merriam, Noel Cassidy and Kara Cunningham. All three players have played four seasons for Lees-McRae and own spots in the team's top 10 all-time career record book in a variety of statistics.
Extra, extra, extra – Last Sunday's eight inning game at Emmanuel marks the seventh time this season that the Bobcats have played extra innings. So far, Lees-McRae has fared well winning five of these seven decisions.
About Belmont Abbey and Catawba – Belmont Abbey comes into this weekend's action with a 15-18 overall record and a 5-8 mark within conference play. The Crusaders have been a very different team depending upon where they play. Belmont Abbey is 12-6 when playing at home compared to a 3-12 record away from home.
Catawba, meanwhile, is 18-15 on the season, including a 6-6 mark within South Atlantic Conference (SAC) action. Jordan Dean has been Catawba's top offensive player hitting .373 with seven home runs 30 RBI to go along with 13 doubles. In the circle, the Indians boast a pair of pitchers with sub-3.00 ERAs in Madison Hunter (2.11) and Preston Ellenberg (2.81).
Series histories vs. opponents – The Bobcats have met Belmont Abbey a total of 30 times since the start of the 2006 season. In the series, both the Crusaders and Bobcats have won 15 times in the 30 matchups. True to form in 2018, the Bobcats and Crusaders split the doubleheader they played against each other.
Catawba has held the decisive edge on Lees-McRae over the years winning seven of the eight meetings. However, the Bobcats earned a split against the Indians last season when the two programs matched up in Salisbury, North Carolina.