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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 Splits Regular Season Finale Doubleheader With Carson-Newman

Morgan Beeler picked up her 20th victory of the season in the circle in game one with a 4-2 win as the No. 20 ranked Lenoir-Rhyne Softball team split a double header with Carson-Newman on Senior Day. In the night cap, Bears seventh inning rally comes up just short as the Eagles hold on for a 6-5 win. The Bears will now turn their attention to the SAC Tournament Opening Round starting Thursday afternoon.hosted in Hickory.

LR honored their four seniors (Morgan Beeler, Anna Blume, Lauren Rakes, Lora Beth Wood) with a pre game ceremony. The Bears snapped a two game losing streak against the Eagles and it was the win in Hickory against Carson-Newman since the 2018 season.

Carson-Newman would of been the #8 seed in next week’s SAC Tournament with a loss in game two but with the win will be the #5 seed and will be heading to Wingate. LR finished in second place in the SAC with a 16-8 conference record and will host the other bracket with Lincoln Memorial, Catawba and Limestone.

Beeler is the 10th different pitcher to win 20 games in the circle in a season in program history.

In game one, a pitcher dual between Beeler and Syerra Rogers till the Bears scored an pair of unearned in the bottom of the 4th highlighted by a RBI single by Blume. Cassidy Wall then hit her 7th homerun of the season in the bottom of the fifth, a two-run shot to center field as the Bears extended their lead to 4-0.

The Eagles then cut the lead with a pair of solo homeruns from Macey Hughes and Brooke Matyasovsky to cut the lead to 4-2. Hughes solo shot was in the 6th and Matyasovsky led off the 7th with her bomb. The Eagles then had the tying run at the plate but Beeler got a 5-3-6 double play to garner her 20th win of the season. Beeler finished with six strikeouts in the complete game victory.

Bears had five hits with no one with multi-hit in the contest.

In game two, the teams went back and forth as each team scored single runs in three different innings before Carson-Newman scored three runs in the 7th to take a 6-3 lead. Bears scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh and had the tying and winning run in scoring position but could not bring them home as the Eagles escaped with a 6-5 victory.

Rakes drove in three of the five runs including a solo home run in the 4th. Rakes and Kaylan Brown each had three hits in the night cap as the Bears had fourteen hits in the loss. Brooklin Heavner (4-2) took the lost in the circle, going 6 1/3 innings allowing six runs (five earned) Faith Carrigan came in relief to finish the seventh inning.

Mardigian extended her hitting streak to twelve games with hits in both games. The home run by Rakes matches her season total from last year with 9 and was her 25th career homerun. The 3-hit game was Brown’s fourth of the season and the third for Rakes.

LaClair finished the week with an .733 average with 11 hits in 15 at-bats. Beeler led the SAC in Wins, (20), Strikeouts (180) and Saves (5) and finished second with a 2.01 ERA.

Lenoir-Rhyne is 34-10 overall and 16-8 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bears will host the SAC Tournament starting Thursday, Bears will play at 5:30 on Thursday afternoon against Limestone.