ROME, Ga. — The Lee softball team fell 8-0 in five innings in Sunday’s series finale with Shorter University. The Lady Hawks limited the Lee bats to just two base hits to complete the three-game sweep.
Lee dropped to 13-16 on the year and 6-9 in Gulf South Conference action. Shorter improves to 22-9 overall and 12-4 in conference games.
The Lady Flames will look to rebound Wednesday on the road against Young Harris (Ga.) in a nonconference doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.
Shorter used a combination of pitchers to stifle the Lee bats over five innings of play Sunday afternoon. Kalei Kimbrell worked the first three innings and gave up just one hit while striking out two. Maddie Bray came on in relief in the fourth inning for the Lady Hawks. Bray gave up one run over two scoreless innings of work to preserve the shutout.
Both pitchers got plenty of run support. Shorter made the most of six hits with three extra base hits. Maggie Meachum opened the scoring with a three-run homer to right field in the second inning.
Shorter added three unearned runs in the fourth inning before putting the game away with a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Kayla Cooper drove in the eighth and final run with a sacrifice fly. Cooper finished 2-for-4 with a double and triple.
The Lee offense mustered just two singles in the game. Ana Coscorrosa continued her hot hitting with a single while Jesse Giles came off the bench to record the other hit.
Angie Hughes (7-8) started and was tagged with the loss after surrendering three runs on three hits in three innings of work. The sophomore walked three and struck out a batter. Hannah Hight came on in relief in the fourth inning. She gave up two hits and three runs, all of which were unearned. Hailey Clark worked the fifth inning and was charged with the final two runs.
The opener of Saturday’s twin bill started with a bang offensively for both clubs. Coscorrosa opened things up with a three-run homer for the Lady Flames. The senior finished a perfect 2-for-2 with four RBIs and a run scored.
Not to be outdone, Shorter’s Ericka Bynum delivered a three-run blast of her own to tie things up at 3-3.
The Lady Hawks added a pair of runs in the third inning to take a 5-3 advantage. Jackie Castaneda scored on a wild pitch followed by a sacrifice fly from Christina Ezell. The home team put things out of reach with two more runs in the sixth en route to the 7-5 victory.
Lee mounted a comeback attempt in the seventh. Dominique Hannah tripled to left scoring Lexie Dean. Coscorrosa followed with her fourth RBI of the contest on a single up the middle to score Hannah. The rally ended there however as Shorter starter Ezell came back to retire the side.
Hughes started and worked all six innings for the Lady Flames. The sophomore gave up seven runs on nine hits, walked three and struck out five.
Ezell also pitched a complete game. The Shorter ace yielded five runs on six hits. She walked five while recording 10 strikeouts.
The Lady Flames struck first in the nightcap, thanks to a run-scoring single from Coscorrosa. From there Shorter starter Bray became locked in, giving up just one run on eights over the full seven innings of work to guide The Lady Hawks to the 7-1 victory.
Lee starter Hailey Clark breezed through the first three innings until running into trouble in the fourth inning. The Lady Hawks chased Clark after loading the bases on a pair of singles and a hit-by-pitch. The freshman was charged with three runs on four hits in three-plus innings of work.
Coach Emily Russell went to the bullpen, calling on game one starter Hughes with the bases loaded and nobody out. Meachum greeted Hughes with a two-run double to put the home team up for good. Morris later walked to plate a run before a two-run single by Bynum capped the five-run explosion. Hughes worked the final three innings in relief, giving up four runs on four hits. She walked three and struck out a pair.
Bynum anchored the offensive attack for Shorter, finishing 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Cooper also added a pair of hits while Meachum scored a run and drove in two.
Lexie Dean added two singles for the Lady Flames and joined Coscorrosa as the only players with multiple hits. Rachel Polacek, Holley Gray, Annabeth Pruett and Qiley Lewis would also register singles to round out the eight-hit performance.
The Lady Flames left 11 runners on base compared to just seven stranded for Shorter.