In a battle of two thirty-win teams, Lenoir-Rhyne and Lander split a doubleheader on a rainy day in Hickory. After a fifty-minute rain delay to start the day, the Bears used a four-spot in the bottom of the 6th to beat the Bearcats 8-5 in game one. In the nightcap, Lander used a five-run 4th to help them take game two 10-4. Kylee Leonhardt and Hannah Jennings hit home runs on the evening.
In game one, the Bears struck first with an RBI ground out by Kendall Osborne in the bottom of the 2nd. Hannah Jennings added a solo home run in the bottom of the 3rd to put the Bears up 2-0.
After the Bearcats tied it with a pair in the 4th, Leonhardt took the 15th pitch of the at-bat for a two-run home run to help the Bears regain the lead at 4-2. Lander’s Barbara Cook then tied the game with a two-run home run of her own in the top of the 6th.
Bears then put the game away with a four-spot in the bottom of the 6th. RBI singles by Katelyn Rackard, Cassidy Wall and Julia Mardigian gave the Bears their 32nd win of the season. Lauren Rakes threw 6 1/3 innings allowing five runs while striking out seven to pick up win number 16 on the year. Morgan Beeler came on to get the last two outs to pick up her first save of the season. Her save was the Bears’ sixth save on the season, which is the second-most in one single season.
Jennings had her first three-hit game of the season as the senior went 3-4 with three runs scored.
The win was Head Coach Shena Hollar’s 1300th career game and her 1194th at Lenoir-Rhyne after 106 at Newberry, who visits Hickory on Friday.
In game two, LR used five singles in the first inning to put a three-spot up to grab the early lead. Lander then countered in the 4th when their five singles in the inning helped them put a five-spot on the board.
Bearcats then put it away with a grand slam by Haven Pesce in the 7th. Wall had an RBI groundout in the 7th to finish the scoring for the Bears.
Beeler (14-7) took the loss in game two, pitching 4 2/3 innings allowing six runs (three unearned) on ten hits. Brooklin Heavner came in relief to pitch the last 2 1/3 innings in the circle.
Leonhardt, Mardigian, Jennings and Kory Hammett had multi-hit games in the nightcap.
This was Lander’s first trip to Hickory since the 2013 season. The Bears pitching staff entered the game with 352 total strikeouts, and with 10 in the two games total, it is now the 5th most in one single season.
Savannah Moorefield saw her 17 game hitting streak and 41 game on-base streak snapped in game one. Rakes first strikeout passed Brandi Parks for 6th on the all-time strikeout list with 426.
Rakes will now set her attention to pass Casey Hines with 507 for 5th most all-time. Lenoir-Rhyne is 32-11 on the season. The Bears home finale will be Friday against Newberry. First pitch is at 1:00 PM.