The No. 12 Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (19-4) continued its winning ways as it used power and pitching to sweep Converse (2-22), 12-1 and 11-0, in two five-inning contests at Bears Field on Saturday afternoon.
In game one, the Bears were led by senior catcher Mackenzie Cates (Efland, N.C.), who was three-for-three with a home run, three runs batted in and two runs scored. Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore designated player Mackensi Swain (Pinetown, N.C.) added three runs batted in as well.
LR was not fazed by the Valkyrie pitching as each player in the starting lineup recorded a hit in the game. Four Bears finished with multiple-hit contests as well.
Converse’s Allison Plafcan (Maggie Valley, N.C.) went one-for-two and drove in the Valkyries’ lone run of the game.
Junior Brandi Parks (Roaring River, N.C.) earned the victory for the Bears, improving her record to 8-3 after pitching three innings and allowing just run to go along with five strikeouts. The loss was given to Converse’s Jianna Pellegrino (Oak Ridge, N.C.) (1-5).
In game two, the Bears kept the hot hitting going, once again paced by Cates. Cates finished with two home runs – including a grand slam – and drove in six runs.
Lenoir-Rhyne junior Emily Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.) earned her 10th victory of the season - now 10-1 on the year – after throwing the complete game, four-hit shutout. Converse’s Marissa Steadman (1-11) suffered the loss.
Lenoir-Rhyne is 6-0 all-time against Converse.
The Bears now own a gaudy 12-0 record at home this year and are riding a nine-game winning streak.
This is the fifth shutout of the year for Lenoir-Rhyne and the 13th game that the Bears have held an opponent to one run or less this season.
Lenoir-Rhyne leaves the friendly confine of Bears Field for a doubleheader against Augusta on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., in Augusta, Ga.