NEWBERRY — A five-run explosion in the sixth inning of the day’s first game was the highlight for Newberry as the Wolves earned a doubleheader split with Lenoir-Rhyne, who entered play on Saturday with an unblemished conference record and a spot atop the SAC standings.
Lenoir-Rhyne moves to 19-6 on the season and 5-1 in the conference, while Newberry is now 12-12 on the season and 1-5 in conference play. The Wolves will next be in action on March 23 in a SAC doubleheader with Wingate before a pair of Sunday games against nonconference foe Flagler.
Game One: Newberry 7, Lenoir-Rhyne 3
The Wolves sent ten hitters to the plate in what would prove to be the decisive sixth inning, coming from behind to turn a one-run deficit into a four-run cushion.
Lenoir-Rhyne coaxed a lineout and a groundout from the first two Newberry hitters in the inning. But Paige Brugh singled to right field with two outs, then Danielle Basch was hit by a 2-2 pitch to put runners on first and second. On a 1-0 count, Brittany Phillips of Pacolet smacked an RBI single to center field and advanced to second on the play, scoring Brugh and putting two runners in scoring position. Darrian Jamison then redirected the first pitch she saw through the left side, scoring Basch and Phillips to give the Wolves a 5-3 lead.
A single and two walks plated another run for Newberry, but the Wolves weren’t done scoring yet. A wild pitch brought home the fifth run of the inning as the Wolves turned a 3-2 deficit into a 7-3 advantage. In the inning, Newberry sent ten batters to the plate, scored five runs, collected four hits, earned two walks, and had one batter hit by a pitch.
The Bears led off with a single in the seventh, but a fielder’s choice and a groundout to the pitcher left a runner on second base with two outs. Kaylyn Camacho struck out the final batter of the game looking on her 147th pitch of the game, ending the threat and setting off a wild celebration outside the first base dugout.
Camacho turned in another fine outing, scattering four hits and allowing three runs, only two of them earned, in her complete game of work. She also added five strikeouts, bringing her team-leading total up to 74.
Jamison led the way for the Wolves at the plate, going 1-for-3 and collecting three RBI, including the two that regained the lead in the sixth inning. Tasia Diaz went 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Basch came in to score twice despite only being officially credited with one at-bat.
Game Two: Lenoir-Rhyne 2, Newberry 0
Two runs off Shelley Jeffcoat in the first inning proved to be the difference as the Bears were able to salvage a split in the doubleheader.
Saturday’s second game was a classic pitchers’ duel, as the teams only combined for eight hits and 13 total baserunners. Both pitchers went the distance, with Lenoir-Rhyne’s Maryann Hoskins allowing five hits and Jeffcoat giving up just three hits while adding three strikeouts.
With one out in the first inning and two runners in scoring position, Lenoir-Rhyne’s Jessica Fellmeth doubled to right-center to give the Bears an early two-run advantage. Jeffcoat would not allow another hit until pinch-hitter Ashley Oliver singled to open the seventh inning, retiring 16 of the next 18 batters she faced.
While Jeffcoat did her best to keep Newberry in the game, the Wolves’ offense wasn’t able to string hits together and score. In the third inning a runner was stranded at third, while the Wolves left two in scoring position an inning later.
Lanier Paul reached base all three times she came to the plate via a single, a walk, and a double. Gabby Bedard also had a multi-hit day with a pair of singles.