VIDEO: Abby Fiessinger Interview
VIDEO: Taylor Scott Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – With five freshmen in the starting lineup, youth could have been an issue for Carson-Newman (2-0) when it opened its 32nd season on the banks of Mossy Creek.
C-N freshmen drove in 13 runs as the Eagles tallied a run-rule, shutout doubleheader sweep of Lees-McRae (0-2) Thursday afternoon at the Vickee Kazee-Hollifield Softball Complex.
The Eagles down the Bobcats in five innings 10-0 in game one, following it up with a 9-0, five-inning, run-rule win in game two.
"Sometimes you don't know what you're going to see with a lot of young faces," head coach Vickee Kazee-Hollifield said. "I was very pleased. They were very poised. What's exciting about the freshmen is that they play well on both sides of the ball. They are well-rounded. It starts with defense, the run production is just gravy."
Carson-Newman improves to 28-2 all-time in opening-day games.
C-N has now won 12 straight against the Bobcats. The Eagles have taken 23 games all-time with Lees-McRae by virtue of a shutout.
Both games say the Eagles erupt for monstrous second innings. C-N scored 15 of its 19 runs in the doubleheader in innings numbered two.
Kristen Toppel (Roanoke, Va.) Alli Webster (Charlestown, Ind.) and Taylor Scott (Huntington, W.Va.) had multi-hit games. Webster had one multi-hit performance the entirety of her junior year. She had two versus Lees-McRae.
Webster and Rinus both picked up wins in the circle. Combined, they allowed four players to get to second base.
"They really give you different looks going from a righty to a lefty," Kazee-Hollifield said. "You can mix and match that. It's a pitching staff that complements itself."
Game one: Carson-Newman 10, Lees-McRae 0 (five innings)
Carson-Newman got rolling early, loading the bases with one out thanks to a pair of walks to Kristen TOppel (Roanoke, Va.) and Katie Pritchett (Ringgold, Ga.) sandwiched an Abby Fiessinger (Benton, Ky,) base hit.
KaraLynne Levi (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) then lofted a blooper down the left field line with two out to plate Toppel and Fiessinger and put the Eagles on the front foot 2-0.
Carson-Newman laid the lumber down in the second with an eight-run inning. Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) started the scoring with a three-RBI triple into the gap in left center.
A batter later, Fiessinger brought home Rinus on a fielder's choice to first. Fiessinger would come in to score on a throwing error by the shortstop following a base hit by Taylor Scott (Huntington, W.Va.). The final three runs of the inning were all unearned. Toppel drove in the final run with a single down the left field line. When the dust cleared, the Eagles were up 10-0.
Alli Webster (Charlestown, Ind.) nabbed her 21st career win with a seven-strikeout performance. She only allowed three baserunners to move passed second. She gave up one walk and five hits.
Kara Cunningham was hit with the loss for the Bobcats.
Game two: Carson-Newman 9, Lees-McRae 0 (five innings)
Carson-Newman again used a mammoth second inning to create separation. The inning started with an explosion from Taylor Scott. The freshman went off the launching pad with a solo moonshot into the pine trees in the left to give the Eagles the opening advantage.
The Eagles loaded the bases with three consecutive singles from Webster, Cooper and Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.).
Toppel took advantage of the bases-loaded situation with a sacrifice fly to center field. That put the Eagles up 2-0.
Cheyenne Boles (Knoxville, Tenn.) worked a pinch-hit base on balls to reload the bases.
Fiessinger delivered in spades with a grand slam tater over the wall in center.
A Scott double brought in one more run and gave the Eagles a 7-0 cushion.
The Eagles sneaked another run across in the third with a bases-loaded, four-pitch walk for Abby Fiessinger.
C-N chipped another run across in the fourth. Scott singled to right center and moved to second on a Rinus groundout. Peyton Bacon (Greeneville, Tenn.) delivered the RBI base knock up the middle to set the final score at 9-0.
Rinus started her Carson-Newman career 1-0 in the circle. The lefthander fanned four batters and didn't walk anyone. She retired the first seven batters she faced before finally giving up a hit.
Charlie Dutton took the loss for the Bobcats She walked four and struck out three.
The Eagles are back at home Saturday against Concord. First pitch with the Mountain Lions is set for 1 p.m. Coverage is available on the Eagle Sports Network with a free high definition stream at cneagles.com/live.