No. 8 softball powers to record-setting afternoon

Carol Oberhelman jumps on home plate as teammates celebrate a home run

Lynchburg, Va. -- The No. 8-ranked University of Lynchburg softball team tied the NCAA Division III record with five home runs in the second inning of Game 2 Wednesday on its way to a doubleheader split with Old Dominion Athletic Conference foe Guilford.

The Quakers won the opener, 7-5 in 8 innings, before Lynchburg stormed back to win the nightcap, 15-1 in 5 innings.

Senior first baseman Mackenzie Chitwood (Ferrum, Va.) homered twice in the 10-run second inning and now leads Division III in both home runs (12) and RBI (46). Her two-homer inning was the 14th such occurrence in D3 history and the first in the history of the ODAC.

Sophomore designated player Morgan Mitchell (Mineral, Va.), junior left fielder Carol Oberhelman (Washington Township, N.J.), and senior third baseman Taylor Mabry (Bassett, Va.) each homered in the fateful frame as well.

Mabry went 5-for-8 on the day with three RBI, while Chitwood, junior shortshop Kayla Hugate (Chesterfield, Va.) and sophomore center fielder Haylee Wood (Goode, Va.) each had four hits over the two ballgames.

Oberhelman also homered in Game 1 on her way to a four-RBI day.

Lynchburg's five-homer inning tied the NCAA Division III record in that category. According to the NCAA Division III softball record book, Coe pulled off the feat in 2017, as did Luther in 2010.

 

THE RUNDOWN

Game 1 Final: Guilford 7, No. 8 Lynchburg 5 (8 inn.)

Game 2 Final: No. 8 Lynchburg 15, Guilford 1 (5 inn.)

Records: No. 8 Lynchburg (26-6, 9-3 ODAC), Guilford (18-7, 4-6 ODAC)

Venue: Moon Field, University of Lynchburg, Lynchburg, Va.

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

Game 1

  • GC took an early lead on Makayla Crawford's two-run home run in the first, but Chitwood and senior catcher Brittany Coffey (Manassas, Va.) tied the game in the bottom half with RBI knocks. Both teams added single runs in the second.

  • Guilford retook the lead in the fourth, 4-3, but Oberhelman's solo shot again tied the game, and it would stay 4-4 through seven innings.

  • The Quakers scored three in the top of the eighth, capitalizing on a throwing error. Lynchburg responded in the bottom as freshman designated player Haley Drew (Appomattox, Va.) delivered an RBI single, but the Hornets left two runners aboard as Guilford escaped with the win.

Game 2

  • Guilford took another early lead in the nightcap on Makayla Carver's leadoff home run, but Lynchburg responded with five runs in the bottom half, capitalizing on a Quakers' fielding miscue. Wood slapped an RBI single, and sophomore right fielder Kortney Leazer (Remington, Va.) delivered a three-run double to seize the momentum.

  • Lynchburg exploded for 10 runs in the second, all of which came by way of the longball. Mabry started the rally with a one-out single, and Chitwood followed that with a two-run homer. After a walk, Mitchell slugged a two-run shot, and Oberhelman slammed a three-run bomb four hitters later. Mabry and Chitwood went back-to-back for the fourth and fifth home runs of the inning.

  • Sophomore right-hander Kayley Cox (Yorktown, Va.) picked up the win for Lynchburg with five innings of two-hit ball, the only run the leadoff homer.

 

LOOKING AHEAD

Lynchburg's road through the ODAC brings two-time defending national champion and No. 2-ranked Virginia Wesleyan to town Saturday, April 6 for a showdown between top 10 teams. The doubleheader is set for a 1 p.m. start.

--LYN--

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