In one of the most dominant performances in NCAA Championship history, the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears captured…
Mardigian, Bears Advance in SAC Softball Tournament
Julia Mardigian’s grand slam helped LR book a spot in the winner’s bracket of the SAC Softball Tournament as the Bears went on to win, 13-5.
In what was part of an eight-run bottom of the fifth inning, the sophomore pushed the Bears out in front and the hosts never looked back after overcoming an early jam.
The Saints turned some heads early in the action with an Abigail Price grand slam in the third inning that gave the No. 7 seed a 5-2 edge. However, the Bears did not back away from the challenge at their home field as they went on to score 11 unanswered runs and put Limestone away.
Limestone struck first with a solo home run in the top of the first by Santana Anderson. Mardigian put LR up 2-1 with a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the second. However, the Saints would take a 5-2 lead with a grand slam in the third. LR got the first two batters out in the inning before a furious two-out rally from Limestone.
A solo bomb from Katelyn Racakrd made it 5-3 in the fourth. Cassidy Wall led off the fifth with a solo shot, the first of eight runs in the frame. Mardigian’s grand slam highlighted the 8-run inning where 12 batters came to the plate.
Kaylan Brown led off the sixth with a walk and came around on Rackard’s second bomb of the game which envoked the mercy rule.
Mardigian finished 3-for-4 with her six RBI.
Mardigian ran her hitting streak to 13 and LaClair is up to seven in a row with a hit. Mardigian also hit a grand slam on April 17 against Lincoln Memorial.
LR has six grand slams this season, three from LaClair. Beeler tied for the 10th most wins in a single season with her 21st.
With the win, Lenoir-Rhyne is now 63-42 all-time in SAC Tournament. This marked the first meeting between Lenoir-Rhyne and Limestone in the SAC Softball Tournament.
Limestone now drops to an 0-2 all-time record in the SAC Softball Tournament. The Saints joined the SAC in 2020. This contest was the first time a SAC Softball Tournament game took place in Hickory, N.C. in 14 years.
Nine different Bears recorded a hit in the game. The four HR’s gave the Bears 64 on the year, the third-most in a single season in program history.
Mardigian’s six RBI are a career high.