|RALEIGH, NC – The Lincoln University softball team split a pair of games Sunday to finish the three-day, six-game Central Intercollegiate Roundup with three wins.|
The three CIAA wins are the most in a single season since the Lions claimed four conference wins in 2014, the lone season they reached the CIAA tournament. Lincoln won five conference games in 2011, the most in any season.
GAME ONE: LINCOLN 2, JOHNSON C. SMITH 1
Freshman Tia Brown (Newark, N.Y./Newark) wiggled out of a couple of jams and the Lincoln offense did just enough to post the 2-1 victory over Johnson C. Smith, snapping an eight-game losing streak to the Golden Bulls.
Brown, 3-6, allowed one unearned run over seven innings on six hits with four strikeouts and three walks. It marked the second straight complete-game victory and her third on the season. The win wasn’t without some clutch pitching by the freshman.
JCSU has runners on second and third with no outs in the third inning, but she coaxed back-to-back foul pop-ups to first and a strikeout looking. The Golden Bulls supplied more pressure in the seventh with a two-out double. A two-out error cut the lead in half, but Brown got a pop-up to end the threat and secure the victory.
Not only was Brown a force in the circle, her two-out double in the bottom of the first brought home freshman Jarae Turner with the game’s first run. After opening the fourth with a single, Turner scored the other run on a sacrifice fly by Cailyn Dove (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck Senior).
GAME TWO: WINSTON-SALEM STATE 9, LINCOLN 5
Lincoln had its chances to pull out the victory, but ultimately the Lions couldn’t get the clutch hit when needed and left 13 runners on base in falling to WSSU, 9-5.
Despite not being able to pull out the victory, the game highlighted growth within the program. After falling down early, Lincoln crawled back into the contest. Earlier in the season, you could see early deficits growing – but not Sunday.
The Lions trailed 7-1 after two innings and continued to chip away at the deficit with multiple chances to take the lead. The Lions scored twice in the third inning on a single by Brown and an error and then had a great chance in the fourth.
Freshmen Irlynn Richardson (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn Hills) and MacKienzee Rasheed (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills) reached via a walk to open the frame, but only Richardson scored with three straight ground outs. Lincoln had another chance in the fifth as three straight hits brought home a run and the Lions had the tying runs in scoring position, but the Rams escaped further damage with three consecutive strikeouts.
Lincoln loaded the bases in the sixth with one out, but a double play ended any scoring opportunities.
Freshman Cate Liskey (Richland, Pa./Eastern Lebanon ), 1-8, allowed six runs – three earned – in 1 2/3 innings on seven hits with two walks. Brown came in relief, holding the Rams at bay, to give the team a chance. She three earned runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Richardson continues to swing a blazing stick as the reigning CIAA Rookie of the Week, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three stolen bases. She recorded a hit in five of the six games and finished the event with 11 hits in 22 at-bats, scoring 10 runs with eight stolen bases.
Brown was 3-for-4 with a run scored and RBI, while Liskey and Dove each had a pair of hits.
Lincoln returns to action at 2:30 Wednesday for a non-conference doubleheader against Goldey-Beacom.