The Lees-McRae College softball team dropped a pair of non-conference games against Tusculum College and No. 20 Armstrong Atlantic State University on Saturday afternoon on the first day of the Hampton Inn North Pirate Spring Invitational.
Tusculum (2-2) bested Lees-McRae (0-6) by a score of 8-0 in five innings in game one, before Armstrong Atlantic (6-0) posted a 9-1 victory over the Bobcats in five frames. The Bobcats tallied seven hits on the day, including a double by Kierstie Moon (Oxford, Ga.) and a run-scoring single from Brooke Sheridan (Rosman, N.C.).
Sheridan paced the Bobcats with a two-hit day, as Hanna Huckabee (Oak Ridge, N.C.), Kendall Fowler (Buford, Ga.), Jessica Smith (Gastonia, N.C.), Sadie Lagle (Harmony, N.C.), and Moon each collected a base hit.
Hollie Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) took the ball for four innings on the day, allowing two earned runs on seven hits and striking out two. Kristen Oakes (Lenoir, N.C.) tossed four frames for the Bobcats, tallying one walk and one strikeout.
Game One: Tusculum 8, Lees-McRae 0 – Five innings
Eilzabeth Johnson took the ball for Tusculum in game one, scattering four hits and striking out five across five innings of work. The Pioneers opened the scoring with one run in the first, taking an early 1-0 lead when Carolyn Williamson scampered home on a Bobcat miscue.
Tusculum added two in the second, pushing the lead to 3-0 on a two-run double by Williamson. After Katie Brennan launched a solo homer as part of a four-run third, Lindsey Umberger capped the scoring and the game with a solo shot to left to walk off with the victory for the Pioneers.
Game Two: Armstrong Atlantic 9, Lees-McRae 1 – Five innings
Armstrong opened the scoring with three runs in the second on a three-run long ball by Haley Evans before tallying six in the third, pushing the lead to 9-0 with a seven-hit inning. The Bobcats battled throughout the contest, trimming the advantage to 9-1 in the fourth when Moon doubled down the left field line, and scampered home on a well-placed bunt by Sheridan.
Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Sunday when the Bobcats wrap up the Hampton Inn North Pirate Spring Invitational against Tusculum at 1 p.m. and Armstrong Atlantic at 3 p.m.