skip to Main Content
Lora Beth Wood
Lora Beth Wood's home run proved to be the difference in the Bears win.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Advances in NCAA Southeast Regional

The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team defeated Carson-Newman 6-4 in their opening round game of the NCAA Southeast Regional as Lora Beth Wood crushed her 11th home run of the season and Morgan Beeler won her 23rd game of the year in the circle as Beeler threw the complete game. The win was the Bears third straight win over the Eagles in the NCAA Tournament. The Bears will now face host Wingate Friday at 10:30 AM with the winner advancing to the championship game on Saturday.

The Bears stuck first capitalizing on three walks by Syerra Rogers. Rogers’s third walk of the inning give the Bears their first run then Katelyn Rackard RBI single off reliever Riley Gattis give the Bears an early 2-0 lead. More Eagles’s miscues helped the Bears stretched the lead to 4-0 as LR scored two runs in the third inning without a benefit of a hit as the Bears used three more walks and an error as Bears scored on a double steal of home by Alycea Gilliam. A sac fly from Lauren Jackson give the Bears a 4-0 lead.

Carson-Newman cut the lead in half with a pair of runs in the 5th but the Eagles were looking to tie it up but Rackard made an over the shoulder running catch in short left field to keep the lead at 4-2. Wood then smashed the first pitch of the bottom of the 5th over the center field wall to give the Bears a 5-2 lead.

Kaylan Brown RBI single stretch the lead back to four as the Bears were up 6-2 after five. Eagles scored one in the sixth inning but the Bears looked to extended the lead in the bottom half as LR has the bases loaded one out but the Eagles turned a 5-2-3 double play to keep the deficit at three.

The Eagles made it interesting in the 7th inning scoring once and had the tying run in scoring position but Beeler got Mary Vandergriff to pop up to Rackard to secure her 23rd victory of the season. Beeler went the distance allowing four runs and striking out two.

Wood has hit safely in all four NCAA tournament games in her career. Wood is now 6-12 at the plate in four regional games in the past two years. In addition, her homerun was also her 20th career homerun.

Rackard extended her hitting streak to five games. Wall has reached base in 19 straight games.

Rackard and Rakes joined Wood with multi hit games on the day as the Bears move to 34-4 when out hitting their opponents (9-8 in this contest).

This was the program’s 51st NCAA Tournament game as the Bears move to 23-28 all-time. After losing to the Eagles in the first two matchups in the regional all-time the Bears are now 3-2 against Carson-Newman in NCAA play.

Bears, Eagles and Wingate were all in the same regional last year in Hickory. Francis Marion replaced North Georgia as the 4th team from a year ago.

Wingate defeated Francis Marion 2-0 in the first game of the day. The Bears will take on No. 2 seed Wingate at 10:30 AM on Friday. Winner will advance to Saturday’s championship game while the loser will face the winner of the elimination game between Carson-Newman and Francis Marion at 3:30 PM.