For just the 20th time in team history and just the second time in postseason play, a Lenoir-Rhyne pitcher threw a no-hitter. On Friday afternoon, Lauren Rakes walked just two hitters while striking out 13 and did not allow a single hit to throw her first career no-no in a 6-0 win for the Bears over Tusculum in the SAC Tournament opener. Cassidy Wall had a two-run triple to break a scoreless tie in the 4th inning, and Katelyn Rackard added a home run as the Bears move on to the semifinals.
After the Bears had only one hit through the first three innings, they exploded for six runs in the fourth inning to put up a five-spot. Hannah Jennings led off the inning with a double after Julia Mardigian reached on a fielder’s choice, and then Wall hit a two-run triple to right field to give the Bears a 2-0 lead.
The Bears were not finished in the 4th. Four straight two-out singles gave the Bears the 5-0 lead. Rakes, Kendall Osborne and Savannah Moorefield had RBI singles in the inning.
Rackard added a solo home run in the 6th; her third of the season.
Rakes walked one in the first inning then retired the next 17 hitters before issuing a one-out walk in the 7th. She then got the last two hitters to finish off her first career no-hitter.
Eight Bears had a hit in this game, and Rackard led the Bears by going 2-for-3 on the afternoon.
Tusculum’s Emily Sappington, who no-hit the Bears last year in Hickory, took the loss in the circle allowing all six runs in the complete game.
Meredith O’Connor had the only other post-season no-hitter – against Newberry in the SAC Conference Tournament on April 17, 2008. April 29th is the latest no-hitter in the calendar year for the Bears.
This started the 30th SAC Tournament for the Bears and their 103rd career SAC Tournament game. This is the Bears’ sixth tournament as the No. 2 seed and they moved their record to 12-8 as the No. 2.
The Bears remain perfect against the Pioneers in postseason play, moving their record to 7-0 all-time. Moorefield is now eight hits away from the program record.
Rakes is now 11 strikeouts away from 300 on the season after her 16th double-digit strikeout outing. Morgan Beeler threw the last no-hitter for the Bears against Queens in the 2020 season.