Jeremy Zalacca - Director of Athletic Communications
HICKORY, N.C. - In the opening day of the Catawba Invitational, Pfeiffer (5-1) split its doubleheader on Friday afternoon. The Falcons fell to Lenoir-Rhyne in game one but used the long ball to beat Augusta in the night cap.
Game one featured a NCAA Tournament rematch between the Falcons and Lenoir-Rhyne. Unlike last May where Pfeiffer beat the Bears twice and ended their season, the Falcons came out on the wrong end of the scoreboard. Brandi Parks kept the Falcons bat silent as L-R's started allowed only four hits and no runs to propel the Bears to a 6-0 victory, handing the Falcons their first loss of the season.
The game was scoreless for four innings before L-R broke through in the top of the fourth thanks to a Pfeiffer miscue. After getting the first out, starting pitcher Caitlin Christian misplayed a bunt to allow Mackensi Swain to reach base safely. After striking out the next batter, two straight Bears would reach to load the bases. Christina Walker tripled to right center, scoring three and would come in to score on a base hit from Sydney Landreth.
A 2-run homer in the top of the fifth would seal the victory for L-R.
Christian was credited with the loss, going five innings and allowing four unearned runs. The lefty walked one batter and struck out seven batters.
The bats would catch fire in game as Pfeiffer hit three home runs in a 10-5 victory over Augusta (3-9). Chandler Walker, Kaleigh Troutman and Rachel Crowder each went yard in the win. Vada Blue Sherrill added a double and a stolen base, her seventh in the first six games.
Augusta put up an early 4-spot in the top of the second, forcing the Falcons to come from behind. Pfeiffer responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning with two runners crossing home on wild pitches.
The Falcons would take the lead for good in the 4th after Sherrill double in Emma Tuttle to even the game at 4. Reigning Conference Carolinas Player of the Week Makenzie Pennell singled to the pitcher and Sherrill would come around to score on a throwing error. Kiana Millsaps would follow that up with a 2-run double to put Pfeiffer up 7-4.
The parade of long balls would follow with Troutman, Crowder and Walker all hitting solo homers.
The Falcons return to action tomorrow for day two of the Catawba Invitational and take on Augusta at noon and Catawba at 2 p.m.