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Lauren Rakes
Lauren Rakes hit two home runs and pitched a complete game as well for the Bears in the game three win.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Advances to First Ever NCAA Division 2 Softball Championship

For the first time in program history, the Lenoir-Rhyne Softball team is heading to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship as the Bears defeated North Georgia 9-1 in game three to advance to next week’s World Series in Orlando. Lauren Rakes hit two home runs in the 4th inning and give up just one run in the circle to help punched the Bears ticket to Florida. The Bears will be the first ever South Atlantic Conference school to appear in the softball championship.

Two errors give the Nighthawks an early 1-0 lead but Rakes got out of a bases loaded one out jam to avoid an even bigger deficit. Lani Warren tied the game at one with a RBI single in the third. The Bears broke it open with an eight-run spot in the 4th inning, highlighted by Rakes who had two home runs in the inning including a three-run shot to finish the scoring. Rakes then got the final three outs to punch the Bears ticket to Orlando.

Head coach Shena Hollar picked up her 976th win at Lenoir-Rhyne as the Bears punched the ticket to Orlando. This was the Bears third 50-win season in program history.

This is the second time the Bears and North Georgia went to three games in the Super Regional (2010).

Julia Mardigian got hit number 100 of the season in the 4th inning.

The Bears had 10 hits in five innings as Rakes, Mardigian and Madison Primm had two each. Rakes hit her 42nd and 43th career homerun in game three and had three on the day as Rakes home run in game two of the series earlier on Wednesday helped advance the Bears. Rakes did not allow an earned run in a complete game for the third time in her career at North Georgia.

The NCAA DIvision II Softball Championship starts May 19th. The eight-team tournament is double elimination and more information will be coming out in the next few days.

{Information provided by Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics}