The Mount Olive College softball team scored 13 runs on 19 hits en route to a doubleheader sweep of Lees-McRae College on Saturday afternoon in Conference Carolinas play, answering a late rally in game one and holding off a seventh-inning surge by the Bobcats in the nightcap. Mount Olive
(31-15, 17-5 CC) won game one by a tally of 10-5, while edging Lees-McRae (13-34, 4-16 CC), 3-2, in the nightcap. The Trojans held the Bobcats to seven hits on the day, including three base knocks in game two.
Lori Fulmer (Prosperity, S.C.) paced the Bobcats with three hits on the day, driving in a run and scoring another, as Amanda Leonard (Lincolnton, N.C.), Jessica Smith (Gastonia, N.C.), Alison Armstrong (Bellingham, Mass.), and Karli Robb (Hayes, Va.) each tallied a base knock.
Laurel Gregg (Mars Hill, N.C.) took the ball in game one, surrendering five earned runs on seven hits through four innings. Holli Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) threw the final three frames in the opener, allowing three unearned runs and striking out four. Kristin Oakes (Lenoir, N.C.) got the nod in game two, surrendering three runs (two earned) and striking out six.
Katie Devenuto, Elizabeth Overman, and Katie Moore each tallied three hits on the day for the Trojans, as Moore, Kayla Voorhees, and Robbin Kennedy drove in two runs each. Sarah Saunders got the start in game one, allowing one earned run on three hits in four innings of work. Lauren Smith tossed the final three innings, surrendering one hit and striking out four to earn the save. Christie Wright pitched the full seven innings in game two, allowing two unearned runs on three hits to earn the victory.
In the opener, the Trojans got on the board early in game one, plating four runs on three hits in the first inning to take a 4-0 advantage. After Mount Olive added a run in the third to push the margin to 5-0, the Bobcats answered with a run in the bottom of the inning when Kierstie Moon (Oxford, Ga.) stole third and scored on an error to cut the lead to 5-1.
Lees-McRae evened the tally at 5-5 with four runs in the fourth, taking advantage of three Trojan miscues to tie the game on an RBI single, an error, and two passed balls. The Trojans answered quickly in the fifth, plating two runs to reclaim the lead at 7-5 before stretching the advantage to 10-5 with three tallies in the sixth, capping the scoring on a two-run double by Voorhees.
In game two, Mount Olive struck first once again in game two, plating two runs in the first to take an early 2-0 lead on three hits and two Bobcat miscues. The Trojans would add a run in the fifth before the Bobcats launched a furious rally in the seventh, cutting the lead to 3-2 thanks to strong base-running and two Trojan miscues before Mount Olive shut the door, retiring the final batter of the inning with the tying run on second.
Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Wednesday when the Bobcats host St. Andrews University in conference play to wrap up the regular season. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. on the Bobcat Softball Field.
Photo Courtesy: Holli Crickenberger, LNC Athletics