HARROGATE, TN -- Offense was at a premium on Wednesday afternoon at Dorothy Neely Field as the Lincoln Memorial University softball team split their doubleheader with the Bobcats of Lees-McRae College by scores of 1-3 and 3-0. With the split, the Lady Railsplitters jump to 3-1 on the season. Lees-McRae moves to 4-1.
In game one, things started slowly as the two teams combined for one hit in the first three innings. LMU accounted for that one hit with Cierra Mudd's leadoff single in the top of the second.
The Lady Railsplitters' best scoring opportunity in the opening frames came in the bottom of the third as Brianna Mulkey, Taylor McGinnis, and Meghan LaFevor walked in three consecutive at-bats to load the bases with no outs. The next three Lady Railsplitters went down in order to strand three and complete a scoreless three innings.
Amanda Snow broke the scoreless tie with a two-out solo homerun in the bottom of the fifth inning, swinging the game to 1-0 in favor of LMU. Following a scoreless sixth inning, the Lady Railsplitters went into the top of the seventh leading 1-0.
In the seventh, the Bobcats rallied for three runs to grab a 3-1 lead. Kristen Oakes led off the frame with a single followed by Mercedes Northrop's bunt single. Alison Armstrong singled to right field in the next at-bat and Oakes was signaled home where she was thrown out at the plate by Lady Railsplitter right fielder Kelly Dreier. The next Bobcat struck out to bring the potential final out to the plate. Amanda Leonard singled home a run after a nine-pitch at-bat leading to two more runs in the inning. A passed ball forced home Armstrong to tie the game and Kierstie Moon followed with a two-out single to send home the final run.
The Lady Railsplitters rallied for first and third with two outs in the bottom of the seventh but Bridget Eicher was caught stealing at second to cap a 3-1 loss for Lincoln Memorial.
Meghan LaFevor took the loss in game one as she threw seven innings, allowed seven hits, and two earned runs. She falls to 1-1 on the season.
Bridget Eicher and Kristin Dutton led the offense for the Lady Railsplitters as they combined for two of LMU's six hits in the contest.
In game two, both teams continued to struggle offensively out of the gate. After three innings of scoreless play, the Lady Railsplitters notched the first run of the game as they plated one in the bottom of the fourth. Meghan LaFevor led off that frame with a walk and she reached second with a stolen base in the next at-bat. Amanda Snow's groundout moved LaFevor to third where she was driven in by Sarah Walz with a twoout single.
The Lady Railsplitters rallied for two more in the bottom of the fifth inning. Brittani Bezanson got things started with a leadoff double. Brianna Mulkey re-entered to run for Bezanson and she scored in the next at-bat off of a Bobcat error that also put Taylor McGinnis on second base. A bunt moved McGinnis to third where she scored on Snow's one-out single.
LMU held on for a 3-0 win despite the Bobcats loading the bases in the top of the seventh with one out. Amanda Snow struck out the final two batters for Lees-McRae to shutdown the rally.
Snow garnered the win with a spectacular complete game on the mound, allowing no runs and three hits. She struck out 15 batters in her outing which sets a new school record for both an individual and team performance. With that outstanding performance on the rubber, she improves to 1-0 on the season.
Brittani Bezanson, Amanda Snow, Cierra Mudd, and Sarah Walz all had a hit apiece as the Lady Railsplitters mounted four hits in the contest.
The Lady Railsplitters hit the field again on Friday, February 17th when they will host Tiffin University. The first game of the doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. at Dorothy Neely Field.