HARROGATE, Tenn. - The Lincoln Memorial University softball team started its season by splitting its doubleheader at Dorothy Neely Field Saturday.
The Lady Railsplitters dominated Walsh University in game one, winning 9-0 in five innings before falling to Maryville University, 11-8, in the nightcap.
In the first game, designated player Audrey Petoskey paced the Lady Railsplitters, going 3-for-3 at the plate with a single, double and home run plus five RBI. In her LMU debut, McKenzie Henry had two hits (one double) while scoring two runs. The Lady Railsplitters drew eight walks in the opening game - Ty-Kella Goins (3), Allie Jones (2), Kelsie Tuggle (2) and Emma Webb (1) - to keep innings alive.
In the circle, Bailey Griffith was phenomenal in her first-ever start as a Lady Railsplitter. The freshman tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out two and not giving up a free base versus Walsh (0-2).
The Lady Railsplitters couldn't have asked for a better start. After Webb's RBI-groundout in the first inning, scoring Goins, LMU went off in the next frame.
The four-run, three-hit inning was ignited via the hands of Petoskey when she blasted a three-run shot over the left-field wall. Allie Jones followed it up with a single up the middle, plating Goins for the 5-0 lead.
And the Lady Railsplitters (1-1) were just getting started. It was the sophomore Petoskey again in the third inning, singling in Henry for another run. Sierra Hucklebee reached on an error, which scored Petoskey for the 7-0 lead, and then Goins scored one of her three runs scored after Webb took first safely thanks to another Cav error.
Petoskey, who was a triple away from hitting for the cycle, finished the season-opening game off when she doubled in Tuggle in the fourth inning for the final run.
In the second game, Webb paced LMU with a 3-for-5 outing at the plate and one run scored, while Jones, Goins and Petoskey each had two hits.
The Saints (2-0) jumped out to a quick 5-0 start before the Lady Railsplitters tallied a run in the bottom of the second inning as Goins hustled out an infield single to shortstop, scoring Petoskey.
Maryville stretched its lead right back out, homering off Justice Smith, who relieved Faith Howe after she walked a batter to begin the third inning, twice to score all of its five third-inning runs.
The Lady Railsplitters didn't lie down, though. Smith settled in after the third frame, allowing just one more run in the sixth inning while her teammates tallied seven across the scoreboard.
It was none other than Petoskey, who had seven total RBI on the day, who began LMU's near come-from-behind win. The sophomore doubled in Henry and Tuggle to push the Lady Railsplitters two runs closer.
Via a couple Saint errors and a wild pitch, the Lady Railsplitters scored all of their four runs in the fourth inning with two outs to pull within three.
LMU plated another in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a fielder's choice ball, scoring Allie Jones, but the Lady Railsplitters' rally stopped there.
The Lady Railsplitters will face Maryville again Sunday, following a game between Wash and Maryville at 9 a.m. After the conclusion of LMU versus Maryville, the Lady Railsplitters will face Walsh to wrap up the three-team tournament.