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Graleigh Hildebran
East Burke grad Graleigh Hildebran had three hits and two runs scored for the Bears.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

L-R Softball Wraps Up Weekend Sweep of Davis and Elkins

For the second time in four years, the Lenoir-Rhyne softball team starts the season winning their first seven games. On Saturday, the Bears completed the weekend series sweep of Davis & Elkins with a 10-6 win. Graleigh Hildebran and Kaylan Brown each had three hits while Faith Carrigan picked up her first career win in the circle.

The Senators jumped ahead for the second straight game as the Bears made their eighth error of the year leading to an run in the top of the 1st. That’s the 13th run the Bears have given up this year and eight have been unearned. LaClair did not allow the lead to last long as she hit her 17th career homerun, a two-run bomb to give the Bears the lead for the first time.

Mia Ely tied the game up in the top of the second with the first home run of the weekend for the Senators. Then later in the inning an a RBI single by Jules Gutierrez which led to the third lead change. Gutierrez’s hit chased starter Brooklin Heavner, who pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned).

Freshman Faith Carrigan relieved Heavner. Carrigan made her pitching debut and threw 2 1/3 innings while allowing two runs and earned her first career win. The back and forth game continued in the bottom half as the Bears retook the lead on a bases loaded walk and a fielder’s choice as we the game went to the third with the Bears leading 4-3.

After the Senators tied it in the top of the 4th, Brown doubled home a pair of runs then scored on a Katelyn Rackard groundout to give the Bears a 7-4 lead. After Davis & Elkins scored in the top of the 4th to cut the lead to two, we saw our first scoreless half inning as the Senators held the Bears scoreless for the first time today in the bottom of the fourth.

Brown’s third hit of the day extended the lead to 8-5 with an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth. The Bears reached double digits in runs for the second straight game after a Lauren Jackson RBI single in the 6th as the Bears complete the three game sweep with a 10-6 victory.

Morgan Beeler came in relief of Carrigan to pick up her first save of the season. Beeler threw 3 1/3 innings, allowing just one run and striking out four.

Coach Hollar won her 895th career game at LR, five away from 900 career victories as a Bear. It is the second time in four years the Bears have started 7-0. The 2020 team started 10-0. LaClair had two hits and now has 197th career hits. Hildebran had her first career three hit game and Beeler picked up her third career save.

After one hit in her first four career games, Brown finished the weekend series 7-8 at the plate including six RBIs.

The Bears are 7-0 and will travel to Greenwood, S.C. for a weekend tournament hosted by Lander University. The Bears will play four games in two days against four different opponents. LR will open the tournament Friday at 9 am against USC Beaufort.