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Talon LaClair
Talon LaClair becomes just the eighth player in Lenoir-Rhyne softball history to earn All-American honors.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Eliminated in Regional Championship Game

The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team’s season came to the end as Wingate defeated the Bears 6-2 and 4-1 in the Regional Final Saturday. The Bulldogs will advance to next week’s Super Regional. Lauren Jackson had two hits and two RBIs in game one and Cassidy Wall had an RBI double in the second game.

In game one, after eight hitless innings against Wingate this season, Beeler allowed her first hit against the Bulldogs as Hannah Reeves led off the second with a double but Wingate could not push her across the plate. Lauren Jackson got the Bears on the board with an RBI double to bring in Cassidy Wall to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.

Wingate had another great opportunity in the third inning with two runners in scoring position with one out but Beeler got Hannah Reeves to strikeout and Hali Scott to ground out to Katelyn Rackard to end the threat. The Bulldogs used their speed at the top of the order to tie it up as Kaylee Hobgood and Savanna Brooks double steal of second and home tied it up then Reeves sac fly scoring Brooks gave Wingate a 2-1 lead.

The Bears third error of the game helped Wingate stretch the lead to 3-1 after 5 1/2 innings. After a fifteen minute rain delay, Wingate put the game away with a pitch hit, inside the park three-run home run by Jillian Thomas.

The Bears did add a run with Jackson’s second RBI of the day but Wingate forced the elimination game with a 6-2 win. Beeler took the loss in the circle with the complete game, allowing just three earned runs.

Jackson had two of the Bears five hits in the contest.

In game two, Wingate jumped out with a three-spot in the bottom of the second as the Bears committed their fifth error of the day to help the Bulldogs score their second and third runs of the inning. Talon LaClair opened the top of the 4th with a triple as Wall drove her home with a double that missed being a home run by inches.

Faith Carrigan (2-3) started and threw four innings, allowing three runs while Beeler came in and finished the last two innings and allowed one run. Raechel Cutcher was the story of the day and weekend for Wingate. After Cutcher picked up the win in game one, Cutcher spun a gem again in the second game. Cutcher allowed just three hits and one run while striking out seven.

Wood has hit safely in all seven NCAA regional games. Wall reached base in 22 straight games to end the season.

After homering in all six games of the postseason and 13 straight games, Wingate held the Bears without a home run. Cutcher finished the regional with 4-1 record and threw 37 innings allowing just 9 runs and striking out 37 hitters. Cutcher pitched all but one inning for Wingate.

The Bears will move to 24-30 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. Wingate knocked the Bears out of the regional for the second straight year.

LR moves to 2-5 against Wingate in regional play with both wins coming in extra innings the last two years. Wingate will move on to North Georgia next week in the Super Regional.

The Bears end the season with a record of 36-13.