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Julia Mardigan
Julia Mardigan had the only hit for the Bears in the setback.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Suffers First Loss in NCAA Championship, Falls to Elimination Bracket

After winning 1-0 on the first day of the World Series, the Lenoir-Rhyne Softball team was on the other end of the 1-0 game on day two as Indianapolis’s Kenzee Smith pitched a one hit complete game shutout as the Greyhounds defeated the Bears 1-0. LR will look to rebound Tuesday evening as the Bears will face the winner of Wilmington and Augustana.

Indy’s Kenzee Smith was the story in this game as she bought her 0.35 ERA into the game and actually lowered it as Smith did not allow a run and only allowed an one-out single to Julia Mardigian in the 7th inning. The Greyhounds got their run in the 3rd inning. Indianapolis had two out and no one on base, but got three straight singles followed by a Braxt Downs RBI single to give the Greyhounds their only run of the game.

Mardigian’s single in the seventh ties her for the national lead with 103 hits.

Downs almost blew the game open with a three-run home run in the 5th but Abbey Nixon made a spectacular catch to rob the homerun and keep the game at 1-0.

However the Bears could not get anything going against Smith as she allowed a two out walk in the 5th and had a no-hitter going with one out in the seventh. The Bears had only two runners on base and no one advanced past first.

The Greyhounds were the No. 2 ranked in team in the last NFCA Coaches Poll.

Madison Wilson suffered her first postseason loss as the freshman give up the run in three innings pitched while Alexander Central grad Faith Carrigan threw four shutout innings in relief.

It was only the Bears second shutout of the year, LR lost at North Georgia 6-0 early in the year.

In two games in this championship, the Bears have scored one run but only allowed one run in sixteen innings of play.

Yesterday win was not only the Bears first ever NCAA Division 2 championship win, it was also the first win for any South Atlantic Conference school in the championship as well.

The Bears will await the winner of Wilmington and Augustana on Tuesday at 6:30. That game will be an elimination game. The Bears will need to win three straight to advance to the final series.

{Information provided by Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics}