Lenoir-Rhyne’s softball team dropped a doubleheader against Flagler on Saturday at home. In Flagler’s first-ever visit to Hickory they came away with a one-run win in game one, 3-2 and an extra-inning win in the nightcap, 6-4.
In game one, Flagler wasted no time scoring two runs in the first inning but the Bears cut the lead in half with an RBI double by Lauren Rakes in the second inning. Flagler got what ended up being the winning run on a throwing error by LR with two outs in the top of the 3rd.
The Bears had chances to win it late but Talon LaClair was thrown out at home on a ground ball by Hannah Jennings then Rakes flied out to left with runners on first and third with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Both teams left eight runners on base in the opener. Rakes pitched the complete game in her first start of the year. Rakes only allowed two earned runs and struck out seven Saints.
In game two, LR opened a 2-0 lead through three with an rbi groundout and a sac fly by Lora Beth Wood.
Flagler added a three-spot in the top of the 5th. MacKenzie Smith had a two-run single then Kyleigh Taylor bunted home Valerie Beltre to gave the Saints a 3-2 lead. The Bears responded with an unearned run in the bottom of the half and that is where we stood until extra innings.
Morgan Beeler got the start and went 4 1/3 innings allowing three runs before freshman McKayla Watts took over in the circle. Watts gave up three runs (two earned) in 3 2/3 innings but suffered the loss.
The Saints scored three runs on four singles in the top of the 8th. Savannah Moorefield threw out Bella Munoz trying to score to end the threat. Bears did load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the eight but Wood grounded out to end the game.
The contest was the 6th and 7th all-time meetings between the two schools but the first at either campus. All previous five meetings were neutral sites game in South Carolina or Georgia.
Flagler is a member of the Peach Belt Conference. The Bears are 16-4 in their last twenty regular-season games against teams from the Peach Belt Conference, including three wins against nationally-ranked teams.
LR falls to 12-9 in extra-inning games since the 2015 season.
The Bears are 2-2. LR will travel to UNC Pembroke tomorrow for a 1:00 first pitch.