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Julia Mardigan
Julia Mardigan went a combined three-for-eight with two runs scored and three RBI.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Sweeps UNC-Pembroke

The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team broke out the big bats in a sweep of UNC Pembroke on Wednesday afternoon, winning game one, 5-2 and the nightcap, 9-0. In game two, LR smacked four home runs with two coming off the bat of Lora Beth Wood, to send the Bears to non-conference wins over the Braves. Madison Wilson was electric in her first career start in game two, tossing a complete game, 2-hitter with six strikeouts and no walks.

In game one, UNC Pembroke scored lone runs in the first and fourth innings to take a 2-0 advantage. Faith Carrigan started the game before giving way to Lauren Rakes who dominated the Braves lineup. Rakes struck out nine in her 4.2 innings of work, giving up just one run to earn the win. The Bears broke through with three runs in the bottom of the fourth thanks to some wildness by Summer Bullard. Bullard walked back-to-back hitters and then threw a wild pitch to allow Abbey Nixon to knock in a pair with a single. Nixon would come around to score on Bullard’s wild pitch as LR jumped ahead for good. Lani Warren clubbed an RBI double in the fifth and Madison Primm drove in a run in the sixth. Julia Mardigian went 2-for-4 in the leadoff spot with a run and one of three LR stolen bases. Nixon finished 2-for-3 with a run and two RBI and also stole a base.

It was all LR in game two. The Bears scored three in the second inning with Wood’s first bomb of the game followed by a RBI double by Katelyn Rackard. Wood added a homer to center to plate a pair in the third as LR jumped ahead 5-0. Rakes crushed a solo shot to center field to make it 6-0 in the fifth and Mardigian sent the crowd home happy with a 3-run bomb in the bottom of the sixth to invoke the mercy rule. The Bears went 8-for-22 as a team with three walks and six of the eight hits were for extra bases. Wilson allowed just a pair of baserunners, both on via singles, in the complete game shut out. She struck out six and needed just 71 pitches to get 12 outs. Rakes and Wood combined to go 5-for-5 with five runs and five RBI in the four and five spots in the lineup.

After giving up two runs in the first game, LR would score 14 unanswered to earn the sweep. With two victories, Hollar runs her career win total to 974. Wood’s two home runs in game two were each two-run shots. This was Wilson’s first career start after coming in as a relief pitcher in the season opener. Rakes now has three long balls on the season. Rakes has hit a grand slam, 3-run homer and solo shot so far this year. The Bears had four straight at home to open the season before hitting the road for eight straight. LR already has 10 long balls on the season in just four games.

The Bears, 3-1 on the season, and will return to action on Friday when they travel to Columbus, Ga. to take on Union at noon and Columbus St. at 2:30 p.m.