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Lady Railsplitters drop SAC doubleheader to Mars Hill

HARROGATE, TN -- The Lady Railsplitters fell short in a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Mars Hill Lions in South Atlantic Conference action at Dorothy Neely Field on Tuesday afternoon. Lincoln Memorial University drops to 23-18 on the season and 5-9 in South Atlantic Conference play with the two losses, while Mars Hill jumps to 20-8 overall and 9-3 in the league following the two victories in Harrogate.

In game one, the Lady Railsplitters and Lions played to a 1-1 stalemate through five innings before a pair of errors doomed Lincoln Memorial in the top of the sixth, sparking a two-run rally for Mars Hill en route to a 3-1 win. The offensive attack for LMU struggled to find their footing, as they were limited to only two hits in the contest.

In game two, the Lady Railsplitters scattered nine hits but only pushed one run across the dish, while the Lions dealt out 13 hits and nine runs, marked by a combined six runs in the final two innings to take a 9-1 win in six innings.

LMU will hit the road for the remainder of the week, as they look to get back on track with a two-game, non-conference set at Union College on Wednesday, April 3rd. The first pitch in game one is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Barbourville, Kentucky. The Lady Railsplitters resume South Atlantic Conference play with a trip to Newberry, South Carolina to duel the Newberry Wolves on Saturday, April 6th.

Game One Box
Mars Hill 3
Lincoln Memorial 1

After two uneventful frames to start the game, Mars Hill put the first run on the board in the visitor's half of the third. A fielding error allowed Brittany Gibson to reach safely to lead off the frame, and a fielder's choice put Jamie Hockaday on second base later in the inning. From there, Taylor Morris did the rest, as she popped an RBI single to center field to give the Lions a 1-0 advantage.

The Lady Railsplitters got their first hit of the game in the bottom of the third with a single by Danae Reed, but they would be unable to find a run until the bottom of the fourth. In that frame, Brianna Mulkey led off with a triple and came home on a dropped fly ball by the Lions' left fielder.

Both teams were shut out in the fifth frame, however, the Lions used a pair of errors by the Lady Railsplitters in the top of the sixth to grab command of the board. Taylor Morris was hit by a pitch and Lauren Saller reached on a throwing error to put runners on second and third with no outs. Both runners came across the dish thanks to a bunt single by Shaundee Woosley two batters later which led to a throwing error by the Lady Railsplitters, propelling Mars Hill out in front 3-1.

Lincoln Memorial would be unable to muster any offense in their final two plate appearances, as they were sat down in one-two-three order in the sixth and seventh innings to give the Lions a 3-1 victory.

Mars Hill starter Taylor Morris was the story of the contest, as she limited the Lady Railsplitters to only two hits and one unearned run in her complete-game performance. Morris fanned eight batters without a walk allowed en route to the victory.

Samantha Smith was the hard luck loser on the day, as she fell to 16-10 on the season despite allowing only four hits and one earned run in six innings of work on the mound for the Lady Railsplitters. Kirstin Toole did not surrender a hit in one inning of work in relief.

Brianna Mulkey and Danae Reed tallied the only two hits for Lincoln Memorial, while Shaundee Woosley led the Lions' four-hit outing with a two-for-three day at the dish.

Mars Hill 3, Lincoln Memorial 1 (Apr 02, 2013 at Harrogate, TN) (Game 1)
Mars Hill........... 001 002 0 - 3 4 1 (19-8, 8-3 SAC)
Lincoln Memorial.... 000 100 0 - 1 2 3 (23-17, 5-8 SAC)
Pitchers: Mars Hill - Taylor Morris and Taylor Jordan. Lincoln Memorial - Samantha Smith;
Kirstin Toole(7) and Jordyn Wilson.
Win-Taylor Morris(9-3) Loss-Samantha Smith(16-10) T-1:33 A-100
Weather: Clear, upper 40s

S. Smith faced 1 batter in the 7th.
Game Two Box
Mars Hill 9
Lincoln Memorial 1 (6 innings)

The Lady Railsplitters posted two hits in both the first and second innings but came up empty in those scoring chances, while the Lions struck first with a three-run outburst in the top of the third. Ashley McCurry sparked the rally with a one-out walk and Robyn Stanek followed with a two-run blast over the left-center field wall to score the first two runs. Taylor Morris tallied a double in the next at-bat, coming around to score on a single by Aleshia Peek.

Lincoln Memorial finally broke through by responding with a run in the bottom of the third. Kirstin Toole and Amanda Snow led off that frame with back-to-back singles, and Laura Taricano drove Toole home with a single to cut into the Lions' lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Lady Railsplitters received singles off the bats of Danae Reed and Brianna Mulkey, however, a double play and a foul out stifled that potential rally and held LMU off the board.

The Lions added to their lead with two runs in the top of the fifth. Robyn Stanek, Taylor Morris and Aleshia Peek all singled in three of the first four at-bats of the inning with Peek's single driving in a run. Another single by Shaundee Woosley loaded the bases with two outs and a walk to Erin Vickery pushed a run across the dish, extending Mars Hill's lead to 5-1.

In the top of the sixth, the Lions scattered four hits en route to a four-run outburst to put the game out of reach. The Lady Railsplitters would be held hitless in the final two innings, as they fell 9-1 in six innings in the finale.

Amanda Snow was saddled with the loss for LMU after allowing three hits and three runs in 2.2 innings of work. She falls to 3-5 on the season in defeat. On the other side, Taylor Hussey earned the win, improving to 10-3 overall after budging for only one run in three innings. Taylor Morris earned the save after tossing an unblemished final three innings.

The Lady Railsplitters posted nine hits in the game with Kirstin Toole and Amanda Snow spearheading that attack with two hits apiece. Three different players (Robyn Stanek, Taylor Morris, Aleshia Peek) led the Lions with three hits apiece in the contest.

Mars Hill 9, Lincoln Memorial 1 (Apr 02, 2013 at Harrogate, TN) (Game 2)
Mars Hill........... 003 024 - 9 13 0 (20-8, 9-3 SAC)
Lincoln Memorial.... 001 000 - 1 9 1 (23-18, 5-9 SAC)
Pitchers: Mars Hill - Taylor Hussey; Taylor Morris(4) and Taylor Jordan. Lincoln Memorial -
Amanda Snow; Kirstin Toole(3); Samantha Smith(6) and Laura Taricano.
Win-Taylor Hussey(10-3) Save-Taylor Morris(1) Loss-Amanda Snow(3-5) T-1:40 A-0
HR MHCSB - Robyn Stanek (5).
Weather: Clear, upper 40s
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