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Faith Carrigan
Faith Carrigan, an Alexander Central grad, threw seven innings combined in the doubleheader, allowing no runs, and striking out eight total, while hitting a home run in game one as well.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Sweeps Erskine

After moving up two spots to No. 23 in the national rankings this morning, the Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team ran its winning streak to seven with a sweep of Erskine on Tuesday afternoon. The Bears overcame a 4-run deficit in the first game winning 6-4, and withstood a fierce comeback attempt in the finale, winning 9-7. Alexander Central grad Faith Carrigan earned the win in each of the two games with seven shutout innings.

In game one, after the Bears missed a scoring opportunity in bottom of the second inning, the Flying Fleet scored the first runs of the game as Erskine took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third highlighted by a Brooke Patte two-run home run. Kyndall Chan extended the lead for Erskine to 4-0 with a solo blast to lead off the top of the 5th. Bears finally got on the board in the bottom half as Lora Beth Wood had an RBI single and Cassidy Wall had a sac fly to cut the lead to two. LR used the home run ball to even things up in the bottom of the 6th as Madison Primm and Carrigan each hit solo shots to make it 4-4. Lani Warren then gave the Bears their first lead of the day with a RBI double. Four batters later, Cassidy Wall’s second RBI of the game gave the Bears an insurance run. This was the Bears fourth straight game come back from an early deficit. Carrigan then set the Flying Fleet down in order in the 7th to get the win. Carrigan threw three scoreless inning in relief for her third win of the season. Lauren Rakes got the start and pitched the first four innings, allowing the four runs.

In game two, Katelyn Rackard put LR up 2-0 in the second inning with an RBI double to the gap and scored on Julia Mardigian’s line drive double as LR jumped up 3-0. Gabby Burroughs homered to make it 3-1 in the fourth but Adda Prescott answered with a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the 4th. Lani Warren would single home a run and then Primm blasted a 3-run shot to make it 8-1 after four. However, the Fleet wouldn’t go away easily. A bases loaded walk with two outs made it 8-2 before Payton Rabon drove in two with a single to left making it 8-4.
Wall hit a solo shot down the left field line to make it 9-4 heading into the top of the 7th. The first four batters reached safely in Erskine’s 7th inning and Rabon’s double made it 9-7 to chase Madison Wilson. Carrigan re-entered in the circle and got a fly out to left for the first out. With runners on first and second, Hailey Patten singled to right but Wall hit Mardigian who gunned down Rabon at home for the game’s most pivotal out. Carrigan struck out Camryn Jordan to end the game. Carrigan’s final line was four scoreless innings with four hits allowed, no walks and four strikeouts.

Shena Hollar moves 8 wins shy of 1,000 for her career. Five years to the day was the Flying Fleet’s last visit to Hickory. Erskine won their only game against the Bears in a split on that day. Bears move to 8-1 all-time against Erskine with the sweep today. LR has played 12 of their last 14 games at home with two more on Thursday.

The home run in game one was Carrigan’s first of the year and Primm’s third. Warren had her second three hit game of the home stand in game one. LR blasted five more home runs to move the season total to 36 on the year. The Bears are just nine home runs away from tying for the ninth-most bombs in a single season. The program record is 102 in 2010.

The Bears are 21-5 and will open SAC play on Thursday when the Limestone Saints come to town for a 2:00 PM first pitch.