The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team (1-0) opened the 2012 season with a 6-1 victory over Pfeiffer (0-1) Wednesday afternoon at Joe Ferebee Field. L-R sophomore Ryan Jones (Asheville, N.C.) (1-0) held Pfeiffer to just two hits while striking out 10 batters in five
scoreless innings of work en route to the win.
The Bears broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning with a pair of runs thanks to two Falcon errors. Lenoir-Rhyne junior designated hitter Rai Robinson (Kings Mountain, N.C.) added an RBI single in the frame.
L-R then broke the game open with four runs in the top of the ninth inning. Junior shortstop Dalton Hall (Hickory, N.C.) and junior outfielder Logan Senelis-Jose (St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) each hit a two-run double in the inning for the Bears. Senelis-Jose led Lenoir-Rhyne with two hits and two runs batted in on the day.
Pfeiffer's lone run of the contest came in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by Cole McGraw (Claremont, N.C.) with two outs.
Pfeiffer's Bryan Tuttle (Lenoir, N.C.) fell to 0-1 after being tagged with the defeat. Tuttle allowed just two unearned runs over six innings to go along with seven strikeouts.
Five Lenoir-Rhyne pitchers also combined to limit Pfeiffer to just four hits on the afternoon.
Lenoir-Rhyne remains on the road to face fifth-ranked Mount Olive in a three-game series this weekend in Mount Olive, N.C. On Saturday, the two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at Noon.
Bears Softball Ranked 9th In National Preseason Poll
The Lenoir-Rhyne University Softball Team is ranked ninth nationally in the 2012 NFCA NCAA Division II Top 25 Preseason Poll. NFCA is the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
UC San Diego, the defending NCAA Division II National Champions, is ranked No. 1 after receiving all 16 first-place votes.
Lenoir-Rhyne is coming off a 45-10 campaign last season including a 16-2 mark in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bears are also the two-time defending league regular season and tournament champions.
In 2011, the L-R also advanced to the NCAA Division II Southeast Super Regional Tournament for the second consecutive year. L-R plays third-ranked North Georgia on Saturday, March 3, in the Mid-South Classic in Spartanburg, S.C., beginning at Noon.
Lenoir-Rhyne, which returns seven starters from last year's team, opens the 2012 season on Wednesday, February 8, against Belmont Abbey in a doubleheader beginning at 2:00 p.m., at Bears Field.
The NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll is voted on by 16 NCAA Division II head coaches, two representing each of the eight NCAA regions. The final 2011 records are shown and first-place votes are in parentheses.
2012 NFCA NCAA Division II
Top 25 Preseason Softball Poll
1. UC San Diego (16) 45-13 400 1
2. Alabama-Huntsville 48-61 382 2
3. North Georgia 53-12 366 4
4. Saginaw Valley 42-18 313 6
5. West Texas A&M 50-17 303 8
6. Valdosta State 41-11 282 12
7. Indiana (Pa.) 38-8 267 7
8. Augustana (S.D.) 50-11 262 13
9. Lenoir-Rhyne 45-10 255 10
10. C.W. Post 41-16 234 9
11. Rollins 45-4 223 16
12. Arkansas-Monticello 46-16 190 24
13. Minnesota State Mankato 54-16 186 5
14. Bloomsburg 33-9 181 11
15. California State Chico 31-19 161 NR
16. Angelo State 45-14 159 21
17. Hawai'i Pacific 38-12 148 19
18. Grand Valley State 41-16 146 18
19. Tampa 39-9 128 23
20. Midwestern State 54-14 124 3
21. Armstrong Atlantic State 31-14 80 NR
22. West Virginia Wesleyan 48-8 74 20
23. Missouri Western State 40-15 60 NR
24. Colorado School of the Mines 36-24 58 NR
25. Merrimack 31-23 52 25
Photo Courtesy: Ryan Jones, LRU Athletics