GREENWOOD – The Lander softball team extended its winning streak to eight consecutive games on Saturday as the Bearcats picked up a Peach Belt Conference sweep over Young Harris at Doug Spears Field.
The Bearcats (29-17, 9-9 PBC) held the Mountain Lions (32-17, 13-7 PBC) to two runs on the day while scoring 11 runs on 15 hits offensively.
"You saw a little bit of everything today," said head coach Glen Crawford. "I thought we got great pitching from Ferg in game one. We swung it well and did some good things on the basepaths. Ashley had another awesome outing in game two and Alana came in and did a great job knocking in the winning run."
Young Harris plated a run in the top of the third to cut the lead in half, but the Bearcats exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fourth to break the game open. Halie Sorrow was hit by a pitch with one out and Lander loaded the bases with back-to-back infield singles. Sydney Grimes snuck a grounder inside the third base bag to put the Bearcats up 3-1 and McCormack was hit by a pitch to score Jace Bennefield. Kasey Rogers drew a walk to push the lead to 5-1 and Chandler Carey's two-run single gave the Bearcats an 8-1 advantage entering the fifth inning.
Carey ended the game in the sixth inning with a two-out RBI single that scored McCormack from second.
McKenzi Ferguson (19-7) picked up the win, holding the Mountain Lions to one run on seven hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings. YHC's Haylie Shope (2-1) took the loss as she surrendered two runs on one hits with two walks, recording just one out as the starter before being lifted.
Game two stood scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, as McCormack walked and Rogers singled. A sacrifice bunt from Carey moved both runners over and Brianna Surrento drove a two-strike pitch up the middle with two outs to bring McCormack home and give Lander a 1-0 lead.
The Bearcats tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Alana Frye came off the bench with runners at second and third with one out. Frye sent the first pitch she saw into right field as Abby Harris raced home to put Lander up 2-0.
Young Harris opened the top of the seventh with a leadoff home run from Hannah Harrison, but Ferguson returned to record the final three outs and seal the sweep for the Bearcats.
Ashley Vinson (5-1) earned the win, going 6.0 innings and allowing one run on four hits with four strikeouts. Ferguson allowed just one hit in the final inning to pick up her second save of the year. Louise Disi (4-4) was tagged with the loss for Young Harris, giving up a run on six hits in 4.1 innings with a walk and two strikeouts.
The Bearcats conclude the regular season with a PBC doubleheader at home aginst UNC Pembroke next Friday.