Barton softball splits home league doubleheader with Lees-McRae

Barton junior Hannah Jones had a run-scoring double for the Bulldogs in the second game of a doubleheader split with Lees-McRae on Sunday.  Photo by Matt Proseus
Barton junior Hannah Jones had a run-scoring double for the Bulldogs in the second game of a doubleheader split with Lees-McRae on Sunday. Photo by Matt Proseus

WILSON, N.C. – The Barton softball team (14-19, 4-4) split a Conference Carolinas doubleheader with Lees-McRae (10-12, 4-4) Sunday afternoon at Jeffries Field.  The Bobcats shut out the Bulldogs in the first game by a 3-0 score before Barton held on to win the nightcap, 8-7, to salvage the split.

Game One – Lees-McRae 3, Barton 0
The Bobcats kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard for the third straight game thanks to the pitching of Kara Cunningham (Indian Trail, N.C.).   Cunningham (6-5) limited Barton to just two hits while striking out 10 batters in the complete game shutout.

Holding a 1-0 advantage, the Bobcats got some breathing room with two runs in the sixth inning highlighted by a run-scoring triple from Caitlyn Ray (Summerfield, N.C.).  Senior Makayla Meeks (Greenville, N.C.) (3-6) suffered the loss for the Bulldogs.

Game Two – Barton 8, Lees-McRae 7
Barton finally got on the board in a big way – scoring seven runs in the bottom of the second inning – and holding off a late rally by Lees-McRae in snapping a five-game losing streak.

The frame was highlighted by a two-run double from senior first baseman Jessica Onega (Belle Glade, Fla.) and a run-scoring double from senior third baseman Hannah Jones (Huntersville, N.C.).  Jones finished with two hits and the Bulldogs were aided by three Bobcat errors which led to seven unearned runs.

Lees-McRae – which trailed by an 8-2 score – tried to rally by scoring the final five runs of the contest capped off by a two-run double from Ray but Meeks was able to preserve the win after retiring the final four batters.  Ray drove in three runs for the Bobcats while Skylar Edwards (Bear Creek, N.C.) (1-6) was tagged with the loss.

For Barton, junior Sierra Hearp (Roanoke Rapids, N.C.) improved to 5-3 on the year after pitching into the sixth inning in earning the win.

Barton faces Chowan in a league doubleheader on Wednesday in Murfreesboro, N.C., beginning at 2:00 p.m., while Lees-McRae takes on Erskine in a doubleheader next Saturday, March 30, on the road starting at 2:00 p.m.