The App State women's basketball team defeated the Sun Belt's No. 3 team, James Madison,…
The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team used some late offense to secure a sweep in the Red White and Blue Classic hosted by Columbus St. Cassidy Wall had a walk off base hit in the bottom of the seventh in a 6-5 win over Tuskegee and LR scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth of game two to complete the sweep, winning 2-1 over Georgia College.
It was Tuskegee who jumped out first as they scored three in the top of the first inning in the first contest for the Bears on Saturday. The game started with an error by the pitcher and a bunt base hit back to the circle. Tuskegee would score on a sac fly and a 2-run double to go up 3-0. The Bears would chip away with two runs in the third inning. Julia Mardigian executed the squeeze play to score Kaylan Brown and then Wall hit a home run to make it 3-2. Rackard’s speed drew LR even as she stole second and then came all the way around to score on the catcher’s throwing error in the fifth. The Bears fifth would also see Lauren Rakes double to center to score Wall and then Lora Beth Wood double home Rakes as LR took a 5-3 lead. One out away from a loss, Tuskegee singled with runners on second and third in the top of the seventh to draw even at five. Rackard executed a perfect bunt single to start the bottom of the seventh and stole second. Mardigian bunted her to third and Wall walked it off with a base hit to right. Brooklin Heavner earned the win in her first start of the year, tossing seven innings and allowing three earned runs with five strikeouts.
It was a pitchers duel in the finale against Georgia College, with Madison Wilson and Jana Shellhorse each putting up three zeroes to start. Georgia College would break through in the top of the fourth on an RBI double from cleanup hitter Jessica Owens. LR would get the run right back in the bottom of the inning on Wall’s second bomb of the day. The game would stay tied at one until the bottom of the sixth. Mardigian led the frame off with a double before Wilson moved her to third to set the stage for the game-winning play. Wall ended up striking out with Mardigian at third but the ball got past the catcher as Mardigian sprinted home with the winning run. Wilson set the Cougars down 1-2-3 in the seventh to improve to 2-0 in the circle. Her final line was seven innings, four hits allowed, two walks and nine strikeouts. LR managed just two hits in the game but that was enough to earn the victory.
Wall’s walk off hit in the first game was the first for LR since Katelyn Rackard walked off Limestone on April 28, 2023. This was the Bears first trip to Columbus, Ga. since 2015. LR and Tuskegee met for the first time ever. The Bears have won six straight over Georgia College, the longest winning streak in the series’ history. LR has won nine of the last 10 against GCSU.
Wall continues her torrid start to the season as she is up to four home runs and eight RBI through the first eight games. Wood is hitting .550 so far through 20 at bats this year for LR. Mardigian scored her seventh run and Rakes came across the plate for the eighth time. LR is a perfect 12-for-12 in stolen base attempts this year with Brown having four thefts and Rackard adding three. The Bears home run total is up to 14 for the season.
The Bears are 6-2 on the season and is off until next weekend when they travel to Georgia for the second straight week. The Bears will head to the North Georgia weekend tournament and open the slate against the host Nighthawks on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.