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Talon LaClair
Talon LaClair had a pair of home runs on the day.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Sweeps King in Doubleheader

Home runs from Cassidy Wall and Katelyn Rackard along with another dazzling start from Lauren Rakes in the circle lead the Bears to their second straight sweep to open the 2023 season. The Bears won 2-0 in game one then collected 16 hits in a 8-1 win in the night cap. Bears will now prepare for their home opener this weekend during the two day Bear Bash.

In game one, after missing Saturday’s season opening series, Wall rejoined the starting lineup for this contest as last year’s SAC Freshman of the Year crushed a solo homerun in her first at-bat of the season to give the Bears a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. The Bears extended their lead to two later in the inning after back to back doubles by Faith Carrigan and Lora Beth Wood.

Wood was the only Bears with multi-hits in game one as the senior went 2-3. Two runs was plenty for Rakes (2-0) as she allowed just an one-out double in the bottom of the second inning. Rakes did walk four on the afternoon but did not allow a runner to reach third base for the second straight game. Rakes also struck out seven.

In game two, the Bears jumped out with a three-spot in the top of the first as Talon LaClair, Carrigan and Wood all had RBIs hits during the inning. Three errors by the Bears in the bottom of the first allow King to score an run to cut the lead to 3-1. Morgan Beeler stuck out Lauren Lawson with runners on the corner to get out of the early jam and avoid any more damage.

It took Rackard just four games to match her homerun total from last year as the sophomore hits her third homerun of the season, a two-run shot, in the top of the second to extended the lead to 5-1. For the third straight inning, the Bears scored multi-runs in an inning as LR plated three more runs in the third as Graleigh Hildebran had a two-run single and Julia Mardigian had a RBI double. Bears had a dozen hits in the first three innings.

After giving up a single hit in each of the first three innings, Beeler did not allow another hit till a lead-off single in the seventh inning as Beeler picks up her first win of the season going the distance giving up just that unearned run in the first. She also had eight strikeouts in the circle as well.

In the night cap, the first five hitters in the Bears lineup had at least two hits lead by a 3-5 game from Mardigian.

The Bears are now 17-5 against King all-time including allowing just one run in the last four games.

With three hits today, LaClair has 195 career hits. Five away from the 200 milestone. Rackard started her 50th career game. Rakes now has a 2-0 record allowing just two hits in 14 innings while striking out 24 hitters so far this season.

The Bears are 4-0 on the early season. The home opener will be this weekend during the Bear Bash, LR will play four games in two days starting with a matchup against West Chester on Saturday at 11:00 AM.