The No. 19 Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team suffered its first two defeats of the season, falling to Hillsdale in game one of the 2019 NFCA Division II Leadoff Classic, 2-1 and then dropping game two to No. 3 North Georgia, 5-0. Each of LR's opponents were NCAA Tournament teams a season ago.
Erin Boone accounted for three of the Bears four hits in the opener, all going for extra bases. Boone doubled twice and tripled but wouldn't score as she was stranded all three times. Boone was able to drive in Savannah Moorefield with a double in the third for the lone LR run of the afternoon.
Kimberly Blair suffered the loss in the circle, giving up a pair of runs in 1.1 innings. Relievers Hannah Jennings and Brandi Parks combined to throw 4.2 scoreless innings and struck out six batters.
Dana Wiedinger kept the Bears off balance all game, scattering four hits in a complete game effort. The junior struck out seven and walked two to earn her first win of the season.
North Georgia pushed a run across in the first inning and two more in the second and never looked back in the finale. The No. 3 team in the nation held LR to just two hits and handed Emily Kenley her first loss of the season.
Talon LaClair and Cassie Healy accounted for the only two singles allowed by Kylee Smith who struck out 15 and walked just one in the dominating performance. Smith led all of Division II in ERA, wins and strikeouts a season ago and was the NFCA Division II Player of the Year.
The Bears were sloppy in this one, committing four errors which led to four unearned runs for Kenley.
UNG is coming off a 62-4 season that saw them fall in the Division II National Championship to Saint Leo.
Hillsdale went to the Midwest Regional in 2018 before falling to Grand Valley St.
Day two of the Classic opens for LR tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. with a matchup against Eckerd College.