Senior Lindsey Huntsinger (Asheville, N.C.) launched a solo home run on her birthday, and Laurel Gregg (Mars Hill, N.C.) tossed a one-hit shutout in game one to lead the Lees-McRae College softball team to a
doubleheader split with Barton College on Thursday evening in Conference Carolinas play. Lees-McRae (13-28, 4-10 CC) outhit Barton (13-20, 3-11 CC) by a 3-1 margin en route to a 1-0 win in game one, as the Bulldogs pounded out nine runs on eight hits in the night cap to defeat the Bobcats by a tally of 9-1 in five innings.
Huntsinger and Karli Robb (Hayes, Va.) paced the Bobcats with two hits each, as Huntsinger celebrated her birthday with her second home run of the season. Robb also drive in a run, as Lori Fulmer (Prosperity, S.C.) and Alison Armstrong (Bellingham, Mass.) both collected a hit on the day. Gregg pitched a masterful game in the opener, tossing a one-hitter and striking out 10 in seven innings. Holli Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) got the nod in game two, tossing the first four frames and striking out four as Kristen Oakes (Lenoir, N.C.) pitched the final two-thirds of an inning.
The opener proved to be a classic pitcher's duel, as the two starters combined to allow one run on four hits. Neither starter would allow a base runner past second base until the fifth inning, when Huntsinger led off the frame with a solo home run to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
Barton would put runners in scoring position in each of the final three frames, as Gregg shut the door each time, including a second and third situation in the seventh as she forced a ground out to short stop with two down to close out the win.
In the nightcap remained scoreless until the top of the third, when Lees-McRae took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI single by Robb that scored Fulmer from third. Barton would answer in the bottom of the inning, plating six runs on five hits, including a three-run home run by Autumn Pittman to cap the frame.
The Bulldogs would push the lead to 8-1 with two runs in the fourth before invoking the eight-run rule in the bottom of the fifth on a bases-loaded walk by Stacy Wade.
Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Thursday, April 12 when the Bobcats travel to Charlotte, N.C. to take on Queens University of Charlotte in conference play at 2 p.m.
Photo Courtesy: Laurel Gregg, LMC Athletics