SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Lander softball team posted 33 runs and 26 hits as the Bearcats put together their highest-scoring day in 24 years en route to a sweep of Converse on Thursday afternoon.
Lander (19-7) earned wins of 18-0 and 15-5 over the Valkyries (2-32), both in five innings. The 18-0 win marked the most runs and largest margin of victory for the Bearcats since a 20-2 win over Claflin on Feb. 7, 2003.
The Bearcats went up 3-0 in the first inning of game one when Sydney Grimes scored on an error, Halie Sorrow singled home Kelli McCoramck and Brianna Surrento doubled to left center to drive in Sorrow.
Lander plated five more runs in the second inning on a two-run single from McCormack, who then scored on a Chandler Carey double. Carey came around to score on a throwing error and Surrento singled home Dariean Ward to put the Bearcats ahead 8-0.
McCormack recorded her third RBI in the third inning with a double that plated Kasey Rogers and then scored on a double steal. Another base hit from Surrento, compounded by an error, brought home three more Bearcats to increase Lander's lead to 12-0.
The Bearcats tallied six runs in the fifth inning as Alana Frye began the scoring with her first career RBI, a single that scored Abby Harris. After a walk, Surrento drove in two more with a double down the left field line, giving her a career-high six RBI on the afternoon. A Jamie Pisel groundout brought Ashley Vinson home and Harris drove in her first career run by singling home Surrento. Molly McNulty capped the inning by drawing a bases-loaded walk to put Lander up 18-0.
McKenzi Ferguson (13-2) tossed a pair of scoreless innings with four strikeouts to earn the win, while Lexi Griffin held the Valkyries to two hits in 3.0 innings out of the bullpen. Converse's Jianna Pellegrino (1-10) was charged with the loss.
Game two saw the Bearcats grab a 5-0 first inning lead on an RBI single from McCormack, a two-run double from Carey, a sac fly from Dariean Ward and an RBI groundout from Surrento.
McCormack laced a two-run double in the second inning and Ward added another sac fly to put Lander ahead 8-0 before the Valkyries answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
After an RBI groundout from Sydney Grimes in the top of the third, Converse pulled within 9-5 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Once again, the Bearcats plated six runs in the fifth inning, started by another RBI groundout from Grimes. After Kasey Rogers scored on a fielder's choice, Carey doubled home a pair of runs to give Lander a 13-5 advantage. Ward tallied her third sac fly of the game and Surrento doubled in Carey to end the scoring 15-5.
Surrento (5-3) earned the win in the circle, allowing two earned runs on seven hits in 4.0 innings with three strikeouts and one walk. Marissa Steadman (1-15) took the loss for the Valkyries.