Junior Hollie Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) turned in another masterful performance in the circle on Saturday, holding Belmont Abbey College to just one earned run in 11 innings of work to lead the Lees-McRae College softball team to a
doubleheader split in the Bobcats' Conference Carolinas opener. Lees-McRae (2-14, 1-1 CC) won the first game, 1-0, before Belmont Abbey (4-10, 1-1 CC) took the night cap by a score of 3-0 in five innings after an ice storm moved into the area. The Abbey held the Bobcats to just three hits on the day, as Belmont Abbey collected 13 base knocks.
Sadie Lagle (Harmony, N.C.), Brooke Sheridan (Rosman, N.C.), and Kristen Oakes (Lenoir, N.C.) each picked up a base hit on the afternoon, as Sheridan scored a run for the Bobcats. Crickenberger took the ball in both games, allowing one earned run and four walks while striking out 12 in 11 innings of work.
Nikki Faust paced the Abbey with a 4-for-6 day, as Carol-Anne Sherrill and Courtney Barrineau both collected two base hits. Nikki Faust, Hannah Bright, and Amber Faust each scored a run for the Crusaders. Samantha Jacobs took the ball in game one for the Abbey, allowing one unearned run on one hit and striking out six. Catelyn Presley got the nod in game two, scattering two hits and striking out three in five innings of work.
Game One: Lees-McRae 1, Belmont Abbey 0
The Bobcats got on the board in the first inning, scoring the game's lone run when Sheridan singled and stole second before scoring on a Crusader miscue.
Crickenberger shined, scattering five hits across seven innings of work while striking out nine. The junior right-hander would retire seven of the final nine batters she faced, striking out the side in the seventh to seal the victory for the Bobcats.
Game Two: Belmont Abbey 3, Lees-McRae 0 – Five Innings
Belmont Abbey struck first in the bottom of the opening inning, pushing across three runs on four hits, including an RBI single by Emily Self and a two-run error by the Bobcats. Lees-McRae fought hard throughout the contest, putting a runner on second in the second when Oakes stroked a two-single and advanced on an Abbey miscue.
The Bobcats would threaten again in the fourth and fifth innings, getting a two-out single from Lagle in the fourth and putting two runners on in the fifth, before the Abbey shut the door and salvaged a split in the twin-bill.
Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Monday when the Bobcats travel to Mars Hill, N.C. to take on Mars Hill College in non-conference play at 1 p.m.
Photo Courtesy: Hollie Crickenberger, LMC Athletics