Wingate slugged seven home runs as the Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team was swept by the Bulldogs in South Atlantic Conference play on Tuesday afternoon, losing gmae one 8-3 and game two 15-4. With the sweep, LR's string of three straight SAC Regular Season Championships is broken.
Lenoir-Rhyne struck first with a solo shot down the left field line by catcher Kylee Leonhardt. However, the Bulldogs would answer with two on a homer by 1B Mary Claire Coyne. Talon LaClair evened the score with a sacrifice fly as the game went back-and-forth.
Wingate's Sam Hogan doubled off the top of the center field fence to put the visitors back in front by one but the Bears had the answer on a Taylor Beard RBI single to right field in the sixth inning.
It fell apart in the seventh for the Bears as Wingate erupted for five runs with the big blow coming off the bat of Aubrey Reep who crushed a grand slam to left field to seal the victory.
After Wingate scored an unearned run in the first, the Bears answered with a 3-run bomb by Mackensi Swain in the bottom of the third inning.
Unfortunately, Wingate would explode for six runs in the fifth inning to grab the lead for good. Reep and Hogan both homered in the inning as Wingate hit three long balls in the fifth alone.
LR would cut the lead to 9-4 with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the sixth but Wingate got out of the jam and added six more in the seventh inning to secure the sweep.
The Bears have now lost five straight and dropped to eighth in the league standings. However, only 1.5 games separate first place from eighth in the jumbled standings.
LR is in danger of not reaching the 30 win mark in a season for the first time since 2003. The Bears have four regular season games remaining before the SAC Tournament next week.
The Bears drop to 25-17 overall and 8-9 in the South Atlantic Conference. L-R will return to action on Thursday when they host Tusculum at 2 p.m.