HARROGATE, Tenn. — The Lady Railsplitters opened South Atlantic Conference play by splitting a double-header against the Wingate University Bulldogs in softball action at Dorothy Neely Field on Saturday. Lincoln Memorial University (16-9, 1-1 SAC) was stifled at the plate in game one, but salvaged the series by holding off a late rally by Wingate (15-10-1, 1-1 SAC) to take a 7-6 win in game two.
Lincoln Memorial will be back in action on Wednesday as head to Jefferson City to take on the Carson-Newman Eagles in a two-game South Atlantic Conference set beginning at 2 p.m.. The Lady Railsplitters are scheduled to travel to King College for nonconference action on Thursday before returning home on Saturday host Brevard College.
Wingate 1, Lincoln Memorial 0
In game one, the Lady Railsplitters fell on the losing end of a dominant pitching performance, as Wingate started Stacey Houser went the distance on the rubber for the Bulldogs, tossing a complete-game shutout in which she allowed only one hit and struck out five batters.
Buried beneath the outing by Houser, Lincoln Memorial starter Samantha Smith was also magnificent on the mound, allowing only three hits and one earned run in seven innings of work. Smith matched Houser’s strike out number with five in the game but dropped to 10-5 on the season with the loss.
The Bulldogs notched the only run of the game in the top half of the first, using an RBI single off the bat of Taylor Laskey to assume a 1-0 lead. The Lady Railsplitters recorded their only hit of the game in the bottom of that frame, as Amanda Snow popped a two-out single.
The Lady Railsplitters came up empty in that inning and only saw one other batter reach safely for the remainder of the contest en route to dropping a 1-0 decision to the Bulldogs.
— — —
Wingate….. 100 000 0 — 1 3 0
LMU……….. 000 000 0 — 0 1 0
Stacey Houser and Taylor Laskey; Samantha Smith and Laura Taricano. W-Houser(10-4). L-Smith(10-5).
— — —
Lincoln Memorial 7, Wingate 6
The Lady Railsplitters used a six-run outburst in the bottom half of the second and held off a surge down the stretch by the Bulldogs to salvage the SAC series with a 7-6 victory in game two.
Smith (11-5) grabbed the win for the Lady Railsplitters after tossing 4.2 innings in which she allowed five earned runs on eight hits. Snow came on in relief, providing 2.1 innings of two-hit and one-run ball. Miranda Paul suffered the loss for the Bulldogs with 1.1 innings of three-hit, four-run ball, dropping to 5-6 on the season.
The Bulldogs got on the board first with a run in the top half of the opening frame, as Brittany Loudermilt drilled a double down the line to plate Kelsey Maffucci. However, the Lady Railsplitters answered that run by pouring on six runs in the bottom half of the second frame to take command of the board. Snow notched the big hit of the inning with a two-run single, while Ashley Hanes, Danae Reed and Sarah Walz added run-scoring hits to propel Lincoln Memorial to a 6-1 lead.
The Bulldogs broke through with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, using an RBI double by Hayley Whitley and an RBI ground out by Brittany Owens to cut the deficit to 6-3. Lincoln Memorial got one run back in the home half of that frame with another run-scoring hit by Snow, as she popped an RBI double to plate Kirstin Toole, who reached on a double earlier in the frame.
Wingate put a run on the board in the fifth, came up empty in the sixth and rallied for a pair of runs in the seventh. In the seventh, the Bulldogs found themselves facing a 7-6 deficit with runners on second and third and two outs. However, pitcher Snow forced a ground out by Stacey Houser to give the Lady Railsplitters a 7-6 win in the nightcap.
Lincoln Memorial pounded 10 hits in the game, headlined by Snow’s two-for-three performance with three RBI. Sarah Walz, Ashley Hanes and Danae Reed chimed in with multi-hit outings. The Bulldogs’ 10-hit effort was spearheaded by Alexis Burrell, as she tallied three hits with three RBI.
Wingate…. 100 210 2 — 6 10 0
LMU………. 060 100 x — 7 10 1
Miranda Paul, Stacey Houser(2) and Taylor Laskey; Samantha Smith, Amanda Snow(5) and Laura Taricano. W-Smith(11-5). L-Paul(5-6).