Bearcats wrap weekend with doubleheader split against Claflin

Bearcats wrap weekend with doubleheader split against Claflin

GREENWOOD – The Lander softball team saw its unbeaten start come to an end as the Bearcats split with Claflin in a non-conference doubleheader at Doug Spears Field on Sunday afternoon.

Lander moves to 9-1 on the year, while the Panthers are 2-8.

In the first game, McKenzi Ferguson (5-0) tossed her first complete-game shutout of the season, scattering seven hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts. 

Tiaria Norman (1-4) took the loss, allowing three runs on three hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 6.0 innings. 

Kelli McCormack put the Bearcats up 2-0 with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth and Sydney Grimes came around to score on a wild pitch in the sixth inning to give Lander a 3-0 lead.

A three-run cushion was more than enough for Ferguson, who did not give up an extra-base hit and posted her second consecutive start with double-digit strikeouts. 

In game two, Claflin took a first-inning lead on a Norman grand slam. The Bearcats loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first and got on the board as McCormack drew a walk, but the Panthers avoided further damage and took a 4-1 lead into the second inning. 

A wild pitch with the bases loaded increased Claflin's lead to 5-1 in the top of the second, but Lander trimmed the deficit to two runs with an RBI double from Kasey Rogers and a single from Chandler Carey that brought home Rogers in the fourth inning. 

Two RBI singles from Caitlin Mills in the fifth and seventh innings gave the Panthers a 7-3 advantage and, despite an RBI single from Halie Sorrow in the bottom of the seventh, Lander could not rally to keep its unbeaten season alive.  

Hannah Newton (0-1) was charged with the loss, surrendering four runs on one hit with one walk without recording an out. 

Norman (2-4) earned the win with two walks, two strikeouts, three earned runs and hits allowed in 6.0 innings of work.