CLINTON, Miss. — Facing a familiar foe in Gulf South Conference rival Union University, the Lee softball team could not overcome a four-run fifth inning by the Bulldogs in falling 7-3 Wednesday afternoon, in the National Christian College Athletic Association Mid-East Region Tournament.
The loss drops the Lady Flames (23-23) in to the unenviable position of having to play out of the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination championship. Due to rain concerns on Friday the tournament will be completed in just two days, which will force Lee to win four games today in order to be crowned the victors.
Union (25-25) took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Alex Williams hit a sacrifice fly to score Reagan Schrader.
Lee fired back with a two-run second inning. Lizzie Stevens singled home Dominique Hannah and later scored herself on a single from Amanda Lynn.
The Lady Flames briefly extended the margin to 3-1 with a run in the third inning as Stevens recorded her second RBI of the contest with a double to score Hannah.
Union bounced back to tie things up with a two-spot in the home half of the third, thanks to a run-scoring double by Erin Picard and an RBI single from Shelby Lamb.
From there, Union pitcher Kelly Robey (20-18) settled in and did not allow a run while her teammates sealed the victory with the four-run fifth inning. Robey pitched the full seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits. She walked six but registered seven punchouts.
Amanda Chandler ripped a two-run single to start the scoring in the fifth for the Bulldogs. Summer Cross added a run on a squeeze bunt to make it 6-3. The final tally came via a Lee throwing error.
Angie Hughes (15-12) started in the circle for head coach Emily Russell and was tagged with the loss after giving up seven runs in 4 1-3 innings pitched. Hughes allowed eight hits, four walks and struck out three. Annabeth Pruett worked several scoreless innings of relief for Lee.
Stevens went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs to lead the Lee offensive attack. Lynn added a pair of singles and drove in a run while Hannah and Amber Broome rounded out the six-hit performance with a hit apiece.
The Lee loss evens the season series at 2-2 with Union. The Lady Flames took two out of three from the Bulldogs earlier in the year in GSC regular season action.
Lee will look to bounce back today at noon when it tangles with the No. 1-seed Campbellsville University. The Tigers fell 3-0 to host Mississippi College on Wednesday.