Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College softball team split a pair of one-run decisions to Limestone College Tuesday afternoon in Conference Carolinas action. Lees-McRae came out on top in game one by a score of 1-0 before falling in game two in eight innings by an 8-7 final tally. The results Tuesday move Lees-McRae's record to 15-17 overall and 9-9 within conference play this spring.
Game One Recap – The first game Tuesday was a pitchers' duel as both Kara Cunningham of Lees-McRae and Caroline Ruth of Limestone both had stellar days. The difference in the contest came in the bottom of the second when Mallory Myers connected on her first career home run to plate the lone run of the game. With the one run, Cunningham did the rest shutting the Saints out, while scattering three hits and striking out 10 hitters.
As mentioned earlier neither team had much going offensively in game one. However, the Bobcats did outhit the Saints 6-3 in the contest. In addition to the home run by Myers, the only other extra-base hit in the game was a double by Julie Gast. The four other hits were singles by Cunningham, Faith Cooke, Katelyn Wyatt and Sarah Beth Thomas.
With the victory in game one, Cunningham improved her record to 9-7 on the 2019 campaign. Additionally, the shutout by Cunningham is her fourth this season bringing her career total to 10. This is significant because that brings Cunningham into a tie for the most shutouts ever by a Bobcat pitcher with former Bobcat Amanda Dodson who also logged 10 shutouts during her career.
Game Two Recap – The second game of day was an entertaining contest with four lead changes and late rally by the Bobcats to force extra innings. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, the Saints scored a run in the top of the eighth and the Bobcats did not answer it with a run of their in the bottom half giving Limestone an 8-7 victory and a split on the day.
The top three spots in the Bobcat batting order was fantastic in this particular. The trio of Gast, Noel Cassidy and Cunningham went a combined 9-for-11 with a home run and four RBI. Cassidy went a perfect 4-for-4, while Cunningham went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run to fuel the late rally by Lees-McRae. Finally, Gast went 2-for-4 with two runs scored to round out the offensive leaders in game two.
Cassidy Largen, who started in the circle for the Bobcats in game two, ended up getting a no decision after working 3.2 innings allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits. Cunningham ended up taking the loss moving her record to 9-8 after allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits in 4.1 innings of relief.
Next Up – Lees-McRae will be back in action on Thursday when it hosts Converse College in its final doubleheader of the regular season. The Bobcats and Valkyries are scheduled to get underway at 2 p.m.