BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College softball team will open its 2020 season this weekend with a pair of non-conference doubleheaders. First, the Bobcats will travel to Anderson for a pair of games on Saturday before heading to Mars Hill for two more contests on Sunday. Both twin bills are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
Quick Look Back at 2019 – The 2019 season was arguably the most memorable campaign in the history of Lees-McRae softball. The Bobcats captured their first conference tournament title, which led to their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament where they eventually notched their first win in the event as well. Additionally, the team also had its first player named an All-American as Kara Cunningham earned Second Team honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA).
Preseason Prediction – Lees-McRae was picked to finish fifth in the annual Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll late last month. It marks the second straight season that the Bobcats have been picked to finish fifth.
Players to Watch – In addition to the poll, the conference also announced that the trio of Faith Cooke, Julie Gast and Caitlyn Ray were picked as players to watch for Lees-McRae this spring. All three players have been key in the program's successes since they arrived on campus as all three have either earned All-Conference Carolinas honors or All-Tournament team honors during their respective careers at Lees-McRae.
About the Opponents – Anderson has already played four games this spring. The Trojans are 3-1 in those games after sweeping Winston-Salem State in a doubleheader and splitting with North Greenville. Through four games, the Trojans have been balanced with a team batting average of .297 and a team ERA of 2.52.
Mars Hill, meanwhile, has played one doubleheader so far in 2020 and that was against Limestone. The Lions dropped both of those games to the Saints by scores of 5-4 and 7-3. A player to watch for Mars Hill is Taylor Nilsson, who collected four this in eight at-bats in the twin bill against Limestone.
Series Rewind vs. Opponents – The Bobcats matched up against both Anderson and Mars Hill last season as well. Anderson won both games against Lees-McRae last season by scores of 6-1 and 11-3 in five innings. The Bobcats, however, came out on top in the two contests against Mars Hill winning those games by scores of 2-1 in eight innings and 8-4.