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Lauren Rakes
Lauren Rakes threw 162 pitches for her second nine inning complete game in this championship.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Survives Another Extra Innings, Lives to See Another Day in NCAA Championship

The comeback Bears strike again as Lenoir-Rhyne softball scored twice with two outs in the sixth inning to tie the game at four, then Lora Beth Wood drove in Lauren Rakes and Cassidy Wall with a single in the 9th inning as the Bears won their sixth extra inning game this postseason with a 6-4 win over No. 3 seed Wilmington 6-4. With the win, the Bears are one of the final four teams playing as LR will play the No. 2 seed UT Tyler Wednesday at 1:30 PM in the National Semifinal. The Bears will have to defeat UT-Tyler twice Wednesday to advance to the final Championship Series.

After only scoring one run in the first two games, the Bears scored twice in the first inning as Wall had a two-out two-run single to give the Bears an early lead. The lead did not last long as Wilmington scored twice in the bottom of the first to tie it and then twice again in the second to open a 4-2 lead.

That score stood until the 6th when Kaylan Brown singled with two outs then Madison Wilson singled right in front of the plate as a Wilmington miscue had Brown trying to score. Brown initially was called out at the plate trying to score, however with instant replay review in place for this tournament, the call was reversed as Brown had touched home before the tag. So instead of heading to the 7th down two, the Bears were down one still with two out as Mardigian then singled in Wilson to tie the game at four. All four Bear runs to this point were scored with two outs.

Both teams had runners on third with one out in the 7th but neither team could executed as LR headed for extra inning for the seventh time this postseason.

In the 9th, Rakes drew an walk then hustled to beat out a potential force play at second (after another successful review by the Bears) then came around to score on Wood’s single. Wall also came around to score on an error by the Wildcats. Rakes then shut the door down in her 9th inning in the circle as the Bears advance to the final four. Rakes threw 162 pitches in her second nine-inning complete game of this championship.

The Bears had twelve hits in the game as Katelyn Rackard had a three hit game to lead LR.

This is the 7th extra inning game this postseason as the Bears are 6-1. The 52 wins this season ties for the second most in a single season. The Bears are one win away from tying the program record. The 2010 team won 53 games as the Bears lost in the Super Regional that year.

Julia Mardigian now leads the nation with 104 hits this season and now has a 10 game hitting streak. Rackard reach base in all five plate appearance with three singles and two walks. There was only a total of four strikeouts in the game.

The Bears will play UT Tyler at 1:30 PM Wednesday, The Bears will need to win twice to advance to the final championship series that starts on Friday.

{Information provided by Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics}