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November 28, 2023 5:02 am

UMO swept in regular season finale at Lees-McRae

BANNER ELK – In the regular season finale, the University of Mount Olive softball team suffered a pair of losses after being swept in a doubleheader at Lees-McRae on April 21 in Conference Carolinas action, falling 2-1 in game one before dropping a 6-4 decision in game two.

With the losses, the Trojans fell to 23-19 overall with a 12-10 mark in conference play. Lees-McRae improved to 30-16 this season with a 17-7 record in league action.

In game one, both teams had limited opportunities to score over the initial six innings of the contest, as the Trojans left five runners on base, including four in scoring position on just two hits. The Bobcats were also held scoreless during that stretch with only a pair of hits entering the seventh. Junior Ashlyn Porter laced a leadoff double down the left-field line before fellow junior Cana Shrock drew a walk with one out and stole second to place two runners into scoring position. UMO scored on the next at-bat with a fielder’s choice, 1-0. In the bottom half, the Bobcats belted a leadoff homer to tie the contest at 1-1 before following up with an infield single to the pitcher. With two outs, Lees-McRae ripped a walk-off RBI single to left-center to win by a 2-1 margin.

Junior Hannah Killough suffered the loss (12-8) despite surrendering just two earned runs on five hits with 10 strikeouts and three walks over 6 2/3 innings pitched.

In game two, the contest went scoreless over the initial two innings before the Bobcats scored a pair of runs on a throwing error to take a 2-0 advantage in the third. Lees-McRae extended the lead in the bottom of the fourth on consecutive RBI singles to hold a 4-0 edge. In the top of the fifth, the Trojans responded with four runs on three hits to tie the contest, highlighted by back-to-back RBI singles from sophomore Alyssa Smothers and junior Kylie Emanuele, 4-4. The Bobcats countered in the bottom of the sixth with a solo homer to left-center and an RBI double to right field to take a 6-4 advantage. Lees-McRae secured the win in the top of the seventh with a game-ending double play.

Junior Courtlynn Cooney finished the game three for four with one run scored, while Smothers and Emanuele each tallied a hit and one RBI.

Sophomore Callie Thornton was saddled with the loss (3-5) after surrendering two earned runs on four hits with two strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings of relief. Freshman Bri Verme earned the start and took a no-decision after yielding four runs (two earned) on six hits with two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics