The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (39-13), ranked No. 12 in NCAA Division II, was eliminated from the 2014 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament Friday after splitting its pair of games.
Wingate 1, Lenoir-Rhyne 0
The Bulldogs' Kayla Saliga (Asheboro, N.C.) hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning for the lone score of the game as Wingate eliminated top-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne at Neely Field.
Wingate (34-17), seeded third, was led by Stacey Houser (Mooresville, N.C.). Houser (22-9) limited the Bears to just two hits while striking out two in the complete game shutout.
Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore Brandi Hole (Sandy Ridge, N.C.) (21-4) took the loss despite limiting Wingate to three hits in going the distance. Wingate will play another elimination game on Saturday at Noon.
Lenoir-Rhyne 6, Lincoln Memorial 5
In the early game, the Bears rallied from 4-2 deficit to beat the Lady Railsplitters and stave off elimination Friday morning at Middlesboro (Ky.) High School.
Sophomore outfielder Lauren Elder (Taylorsville, N.C.) hit a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the fifth inning before senior shortstop Jody Mizelle (Colerain, N.C.) hit the game-winning, run-scoring single in the sixth.
Both Mizelle and senior third baseman Haily Jarman (Wadesboro, N.C.) hit solo home runs while Hole earned the win in relief.
For Lincoln Memorial (26-17), Jennifer Moose (Statesville, N.C.) hit a three-run home run but Samantha Smith (Knoxville, Tenn.) fell to 15-10 after suffering the loss.
Lenoir-Rhyne will now wait and see if it earns a ninth consecutive berth to the NCAA Division II Playoffs. The Bears are currently ranked fourth in the latest Southeast Region Poll with the top eight teams earning a berth to the postseason.
Photo Courtesy: Jody Mizelle, L-R Athletics