The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball team (40-15) saw its 2014 season come to an end with a 3-1 loss to Wingate (38-19) Sunday afternoon in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament at Haines and Carolyn Hill Stadium.
Wingate now must beat second-ranked North Georgia (45-9), the host school of the tournament, twice in the regional championship to advance.
The Bulldogs broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Wingate's Katie McLaurin (Laurinburg, N.C.) came through with the game-winning, RBI double in the frame.
Emily Usiak (Matthews, N.C.) led the way offensively with two hits and two runs batted in while Stacey Houser (Mooresville, N.C.) earned the win on the mound for the Bulldogs, who beat the Bears for the fifth time this year.
Houser improved to 26-10 on the year after limiting No. 24 Lenoir-Rhyne to just one run in addition to four strikeouts in going the distance.
Lenoir-Rhyne took the lead in the top of the first inning thanks to sophomore designated player Ashley Oliver's (Newton, N.C.) run-scoring, infield single but the Bears were held scoreless the rest of the way. Oliver finished with two hits as well to lead L-R despite the loss.
Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore pitcher Brandi Hole (Sandy Ridge, N.C.) fell to 20-6 after suffering the setback. Hole, who also pitched a complete game, gave up three runs while scattering six hits and striking out two batters.
Photo Courtesy: Brandi Hole, L-R Athletics