The Lees-McRae College softball team dropped a pair of hard-fought contests to Tusculum College and Armstrong Atlantic State University on Sunday afternoon on the second day of the Hampton Inn North Pirate Spring Invitational.
Tusculum (3-3) rallied for a 6-1 win over Lees-McRae (0-7) in the first game, scoring six unanswered runs, before Armstrong Atlantic (8-0) batted around in the first inning en route to a 10-0 victory in game two.
The Bobcats posted a total of 10 hits on the day, including a pair of base knocks from Kierstie Moon (Oxford, Ga.) and Hanna Huckabee (Oak Ridge, N.C.), as Huckabee tallied her first collegiate RBI against Tusculum. Kristen Oakes (Lenoir, N.C.) took the ball for seven innings on the day, allowing four runs and striking out five. Hollie Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) tossed five frames between the two contests, striking out two and walking three.
Game One: Tusculum 6, Lees-McRae 1
The Bobcats opened the scoring in the second inning, taking an early 1-0 lead when Huckabee drove in Sadie Lagle (Harmony, N.C.) with a single to center for her first career RBI. Tusculum answered in the fourth, pushing across two runs on a base knock by Paige Sneed to claim a 2-1 advantage.
The Pioneers added to the lead with four runs in the sixth, pushing the margin to 6-1 on a trio of run-scoring base hits to complete the comeback.
Game Two: Armstrong Atlantic 10, Lees-McRae 0 – Five innings
Armstrong Atlantic struck first in the top of the opening inning, pushing across eight runs on nine hits, including a pair of RBI doubles from Haley and Heather Ellis and a grand slam by Shelby Duff.
The Bobcats would start to rally in the fourth, breaking up the perfect game with a leadoff walk by Moon before Brooke Sheridan (Rosman, N.C.) dropped a bunt single down the third base line to take away the no-hitter. Armstrong would respond, striking out the next two batters and throwing out Moon trying to steal third for the final out of the inning.
The Pirates would add a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, pushing the lead to 10-0 on a two-run double by Brittany Cooley. Lees-McRae refused to give in, putting runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the inning following back-to-back singles from Jessica Smith (Gastonia, N.C.) and Lagle. Armstrong would answer, forcing an inning-ending ground out to close out the victory.
Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Thursday when the Bobcats travel to Harrogate, Tenn. to take on Lincoln Memorial University in a non-conference matchup at 1 p.m.
Photo Courtesy: Kierstie Moon, LMC Athletics