JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — The Lady Railsplitters split a South Atlantic Conference softball double-header with the Carson-Newman Lady Eagles on Wednesday. Lincoln Memorial University (17-10, 2-2 SAC) thrashed Carson-Newman (17-9, 2-2 SAC) in game one, taking a 15-6 decision in six innings, before the Lady Eagles returned the favor with a 19-2 victory in five innings in the second game of the afternoon. With the win in game one, the Lady Railsplitters earned their first win in Jefferson City since 2007, snapping a five-game losing skid at the Lady Eagle Softball Complex.
Wednesday’s first game saw the Lady Railsplitters put up a season-high 16 hits and tally the second-most runs in a South Atlantic Conference contest in program history en route to a commanding 15-6 triumph. In the process, Lincoln Memorial earned their first win in Jefferson City since the 2007 season and handed the Lady Eagles their first loss by virtue of run-rule during the 2013 campaign. With 16 hits in the game, the Lady Railsplitters broke the Carson-Newman single-game record for hits allowed.
Samantha Smith went the distance on the mound for Lincoln Memorial, earning her 12th win of the season to move into a tie for second in the South Atlantic Conference in that category. Smith allowed 10 hits in the contest but limited the damage to only five earned runs in six innings of work.
LMU broke a 1-all tie by scoring seven runs with two outs in the top of the third inning to take command. After the first two batters were retired the next eight all reach safely, seven by virtue of a hit. Amanda Snow sparked the rally with a two-out double, while Sarah Walz, Laura Taricano, Cierra Mudd and Danae Reed tallied consecutive singles. Kelly Drier followed a walk to Samantha Smith with a bases-clearing triple and she also made it across the plate on the play thanks to a fielding error by the Lady Eagles’ right fielder to propel the Lady Railsplitters out to an 8-1 lead.
Brittany Hefner popped a two-run home run over the left field fence in the bottom of the third to cut the deficit to 8-3, however, the Lady Railsplitters countered with a six-run rally in the top of the sixth to put the game out of reach. The first seven batters for LMU in that inning reached safely, highlighted by Andrea Foster’s pinch-hit grand slam, to extend the Lady Railsplitters’ lead out to 15-3. Drier and Kirstin Toole also notched run-scoring hits in that stanza.
The Lady Eagles rallied with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, but they were not able to overcome the deficit or extend the game into the seventh inning, as the Lady Railsplitters cruised to a 15-6 victory in the opener.
Sarah Walz paced the offensive unit with a three-for-four effort at the dish, as she tallied three singles, an RBI and two runs. Kelly Dreier pounded a pair of hits with four RBI and a run, while Danae Reed, Laura Taricano, Amanda Snow and Brianna Mulkey got in on the act with two hits apiece. Snow’s two hits came in powerful fashion, as she pounded a solo home run in the top of the fourth as well as a double in the top of the third.
The Lady Eagles’ 10-hit effort was paced by Kelli Hensley’s three-for-four day at the plate. Braleigh Angel added a pair of hits, while Brittany Hefner notched a hit and three RBI.
Cassie Lyons fell to 7-8 on the mound for the Lady Eagles after surrendering 13 hits and 13 earned runs in five innings of work.
In game two, the Lady Eagles returned the favor by pounding out 20 hits and 19 runs, while limiting the Lady Railsplitters to only four hits and two runs, to take a 19-2 decision in five innings.
Carson-Newman scored in each of their four plate appearances, highlighted by a nine-run outburst in the home half of the fourth to put the game entirely out of reach. The Lady Railsplitters were held to only one hit through the first four innings but salvaged the outing with three hits and a pair of runs in the top half of the fifth.
The Lady Eagles drilled three home runs in the contest, highlighted by Brittany Hefner’s three-run blast in the bottom of the fourth. With two home runs on the day, Hefner extended her South Atlantic Conference lead in that category to 13 on the season.
Two of the Lady Railsplitters’ four hits came off the bat of Sarah Walz, as she notched a two-for-three outing in game two and accounted for both of Lincoln Memorial’s runs with a two-run single in the top of the fifth. Samantha Smith and Kelly Dreier added the only two other hits for the Lady Railsplitters, while Amanda Snow was walked in all three plate appearances.
Six different players (Kelly Hensley, Elayna Siebert, Brittany Hefner, Cassie Elliott, Braliegh Angel, Bethany Davis) recorded three hits in the game for the Lady Eagles, headlined by Hefner’s four RBI, which extended her South Atlantic Conference lead to 56 this season. She sits 31 RBI in front of her nearest competitor at this juncture.
Amanda Snow was saddled with the loss on the mound for the Lady Railsplitters, dropping to 2-2 on the year, after allowing eight hits and six earned runs in 1.2 innings of work. Katie Sims (10-1) notched a complete game for Carson-Newman after tossing five innings of four-hit, two-run ball to pick up the victory.
Lincoln Memorial is set to return to action Thursday afternoon with a two-game set in Bristol, Tenn., against the King College Tornado starting a 1 pm. The Lady Railsplitters resume South Atlantic Conference play with a double-header against Brevard beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Dorothy Neely Field.