JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman's (20-10, 4-2 South Atlantic Conference) Saturday doubleheader with league-leading Lenoir-Rhyne (21-6, 5-1 SAC) has been pushed up a day to Friday at 3 p.m. due to the threat of inclement weather Saturday in Hickory, N.C.
The preseason SAC-favorite Bears have lived up to their billing thus far winning nine of their last 10 games, including a shutout sweep of then 22nd-ranked Francis Marion. The Bears haven't allowed a run in 20 innings.
The Bears are in the others receiving votes category of the latest NFCA Coaches poll.
Carson-Newman has won three of its four games on spring break.
The Eagles continue to be led by Brittany Hefner (Talbott, Tenn.) at the plate. The transfer from Walters State is on the cusp of several school, conference and national records.
With 65 RBI for the year, Hefner is within seven of the conference and school record for runs batted in in a single season – 72 set by C-N's Staci Fish in 2001.
Hefner needs one more grand slam to match Pittsburg State's Emily Gastineau's nine-year-old record of four in a year. Hefner is the fifth player in Division II history with three grand slams in a single year. She has done it in four fewer games than the next closest player, Selina Pacheco of Adams State. Pacheco hit three in 34 games as a freshman in 2010.
Lenoir-Rhyne can boast of stellar pitching. The Bears rely on a pair of freshman stalwarts in the circle in Brandy Hole and Maryanne Hoskins. Hole has a 1.73 ERA while Hoskins touts a 2.00 number.
Opponents are hitting just .212 against the Bears' pitching.
The Bears have won three straight against Carson-Newman.