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Bearcats post shutout in second game to split with Virginia-Wise

Bearcats post shutout in second game to split with Virginia-Wise

GREENWOOD – The Lander softball team used four early runs and a dominant performance in the circle in game two of its doubleheader against Virginia-Wise to claim a split in non-conference action on Tuesday afternoon at Doug Spears Field. 

The Bearcats (12-4) fell to the Cavaliers (7-3) 3-1 in game one before notching a 4-0 victory in game two. 

In game one, UVA-Wise opened the scoring in the top of the second. Bridget Henzel singled and advanced to third as Casey Chambers doubled to the left-centerfield gap. Taylor Creasey walked and Monica Brandts drove in Henzel with a ground out to second base. 

The Cavaliers carried their 1-0 advantage to the sixth inning, when they added two runs. With runners on second and third with two outs, Creasey doubled off the wall in right field to plate two runs. 

Lander ended the shutout in the bottom of the sixth as Kelli McCormack reached on an error and advanced to second on a groundout. Brianna Surrento brought McCormack home with a single up the middle to put the Bearcats on the board. 

Trailing 3-1 entering the bottom of the seventh, Lander put runners on first and second with nobody out, but Taylor Brandts retired the next three hitters to seal the win for the Cavaliers. 

Both starting pitchers threw complete games. Surrento (4-2) struck out two batters and allowed one earned run on six hits while Brandts (4-1) surrendered one unearned run on four hits. 

In the second game, Lander struck first as Sydney Grimes reached on an error and Jamie Pisel singled to put runners on corners in the top of the first. Chandler Carey laid a bunt down the third base line that scored Grimes from third. An error brought Pisel home from second as the Bearcats took a 2-0 lead into the second inning. 

Lander extended the lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the second on a solo home run from Kasey Rogers, the first of her career, and tacked on another run in the fourth as Jace Bennefield drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs. 

McKenzi Ferguson (7-1) tossed a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits with eight strikeouts. Ashleigh Nalls (1-1) surrrendered three runs on three hits in 1.1 innings in her first career start. 

Up next, Lander will wrap up its 12-game homestand as it hosts Francis Marion on Sunday, March 4, in its first conference games of the season.