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Lani Warren
Lani Warren was named first team all-conference.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Drops Doubleheader at Carson-Newman

The No. 19 ranked Lenoir-Rhyne Softball team drop a pair of games at Carson-Newman to close the regular season. Lani Warren hit homeruns in both games but the Bears falls 4-2 and 6-5 on Saturday afternoon. The Bears will close the regular season one win shy of 40 and will finish in 4th place in the SAC and will open the SAC tournament at Wingate on Thursday against Tusculum.

In game one, it was a pitching dual for 4 1/2 innings as the Eagles exploded for four runs of Lauren Rakes. LR responded with a two-run shot by Warren to cut the lead in half in the 6th. However the Bears went 1-2-3 in the 7th as Emma Frost pick up her 15th win for the Eagles. Other than Warren’s home run, the Bears were held to a single and double by Katelyn Rackard. Rakes (15-7) went the distance in the circle, allowing the four runs and striking out eight.

In game two, the Eagles responded three times as LR had three different leads and each time the Eagles responded in the bottom of the inning. LR scored a pair in the second with RBI hits by Kaylan Brown and Mardigian. After the Eagles tied it at two, Cassidy Wall had a RBI single. Warren added her second homerun in the 4th but the Eagles tied it at four in the bottom of the fourth. However that’s all the offense the Bears had as Eagles scored the final three runs of the game to complete the sweep. Alissa Russ took the lost in the circle giving up three runs in 2/3 innings in relief of Madison Wilson. Wilson went four innings and allowing three runs (one earned). Faith Carrigan finished the game with a scoreless 1 1/3 inning. Every starter had a hit in game two while Mardigian, Warren and Rakes had two hits.

The Bears finished the regular season with 72 home runs, third most in program history. Bears will move into second place with one more home run. LR was one of the team in consideration in the first Southeast Regional Rankings. Warren’s home runs were her 8th and 9th of the year.

These teams have played at four different sites in the last three years. LR is just 3-7 in their last ten against Carson-Newman. Bears are still one win shy of their 12th 40-win season in program history and first since 2018. Mardigian .455 batting average second best in program history. Mardigian also has 55 RBIS, nine away from the program record.

The Bears are 39-13 overall, 16-8 in the South Atlantic Conference. The opening Round of the SAC Tournament starts Friday. The Bears will be the #4 seed and will travel to Wingate and will play #5 Tusculum at 3:00 PM.

{Information provided by Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics}