Lenoir-Rhyne (19-6), ranked No. 25 in NCAA Division II, and Catawba (17-9) split a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader Thursday afternoon in the
league softball opener at Whitley Field. The Bears won the first contest by a 6-0 score before the Indians held on to win the second game, 6-5.
Game One - Lenoir-Rhyne 6, Catawba 0
L-R junior outfielder Jessica Fellmeth (Waxhaw, N.C.) hit a three-run home run in the first inning and senior Dawon Millwood (Hixson, Tenn.) threw a six-hit shutout to lead the Bears to the win.
Millwood improved to 9-3 on the year as she struck out six batters and threw her fourth shutout of the season.
Fellmeth's home run helped stake the Bears to a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.
The score remained 3-0 until L-R junior first baseman Brittany Davidson's (Fort Defiance, Va.) RBI single in the fifth inning and the Bears closed out the scoring with two more runs in the seventh inning.
Sophomore third baseman Haily Jarman (Wadesboro, N.C.) highlighted the seventh frame for Lenoir-Rhyne with a solo home run, her fifth of the season.
Catawba's Emily B. Huneycutt (Locust, N.C.) fell to 9-2 on the year after suffering the loss on the mound for the Indians.
Game Two - Catawba 6, Lenoir-Rhyne 5
Trailing 6-0, the Bears scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning but the Indians held on to win and salvage the split.
Lenoir-Rhyne hit three home runs in the seventh courtesy of Fellmeth, freshman designated player Katie Carpenter (Newton, N.C.) and sophomore shortstop Jody Mizelle (Colerain, N.C.) but it wasn't enough.
Catawba jumped on L-R early thanks to a three-run home run from Tara Gibbs (Waynesville, N.C.) in the first inning for a 3-0 advantage.
The Indians' Emily D. Huneycutt (Oakboro, N.C.) added an RBI single in the third and a solo home run in the fifth to push Catawba's lead to 6-0 before Lenoir-Rhyne's five-run seventh inning.
Catawba's Brittany Murray (Asheboro, N.C.) improved to 5-7 on the season after being credited with the win while L-R junior Megan Laxton (Taylorsville, N.C.) fell to 6-2 with the loss.
Lenoir-Rhyne remains on the road to face Anderson in a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 2:00 p.m. Catawba, meanwhile, hosts league-foe Carson-Newman in a doubleheader on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
Photo Courtesy: Jessica Fellmeth, LRU Athletics