JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (2-0) looks to stretch its string of consecutive nonconference victories into double digits when it hits the road to Due West, S.C. to take on Erskine's Flying Fleet (1-1) Tuesday at the Erskine Softball Complex.
Carson-Newman owns the all-time ledger with Lees-McRae 45-12, but the last several years of meetings versus the Fleet have been tighter. The Eagles have won eight of the last 12 meetings.
C-N has won its last six road openers. The last time the Eagles' lost their first game on the road was in 2011 when they dropped a 2-0 decision at the hands of the Bellarmine Knights.
The Eagles enter their second doubleheader of the year off a shutout sweep of Lees-McRae. Defense and pitching carried the day for the Eagles against the Bobcats. Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) fanned 11 batters through the two games, collecting a win in game one and her first career save in the night cap.
Morgan Crawford (Chickamauga, Ga.) pitched effectively backed up by a high-level infield. Crawford only struck out one in five scoreless innings, but generated 11 ground ball outs.
The Flying Fleet split its season-opening doubleheader with Wingate. Erskine clawed out a 3-1, eight-inning victory in the lidlifter before Wingate smashed out a 13-3 run-rule win in the night cap.
The Fleet got the win on the back of effective pitching. Freshman hurler Morgan Hendrix struck out five and walked two in the complete game victory.
Last year, Erskine had had one of the top defensive teams in the country. The Fleet had a .973 fielding percentage that ranks as the top mark in Conference Carolinas and the 13th best mark in the nation.
Erskine's 8-2 win last year in the back half of a doubleheader against the Eagles at The Vick was the Flying Fleet's largest margin of victory over Carson-Newman in the series' 57- game history. That triumph also snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Eagles.
The Eagles would sweep a doubleheader later in the year in Due Wet thanks to pitching. Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Alli Webster combined to strikeout 16 in the doubleheader against just three walks.
Carson-Newman second baseman Kristen Toppel (Roanoke, Va.) leads the South Atlantic Conference after the opening weekend with four steals.
The Eagles are the only team in the SAC that didn't give up a run through the first weekend of competition.
First pitch between the Eagles and Flying Fleet is at 2 p.m. Tuesday. For live updates for the game, follow along with @CNathletics on Twitter.