March 23, 2011
Softball Splits Doubleheader With West Virginia State
Crusaders Rally To Take Game 1, 12-11; Lose Game 2 13-0 In Five Innings
Kelsey Spangler Drove In The Winning Runs In The Bottom Of The Seventh Of Game One
The Belmont Abbey softball team gained a doubleheader split with the visiting West Virginia State Yellow Jackets, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh to claim a 12-11 win in game one, and falling 13-0 in five innings in the nightcap. The Abbey is now 10-16, while West Virginia State is 11-5.
"I was real happy with the way we battled back in the first game today," Head Coach Ellie Hanover said. "It was an exciting game with a lot of offense. We struggled the first couple of innings to push a run across but our bats came alive at the right time. Kelsey really stepped up in the bottom of the seventh. She had been hitting the ball well all game and really came through for us in the clutch. The second game is one we will not dwell on and sweep under the carpet quickly. We got behind early, however, we moved some players around in the lineup and threw a couple of different players on the mound just to experiment a little bit. We have a bunch of games coming up soon that are all bunched together. We may need some players to step up and play a different role. Our next focus is Limestone on Saturday. If both teams show up ready to play, we should have ourselves some good ballgames."
The first game featured 23 runs on 24 hits as both teams rallied from five run deficits. West Virginia State opened the scoring in the top of the first on a one out solo home run by Mattie Best, and added two more in the third on a two-run shot to left center off the bat of Brittany Hyatt.
The Crusaders battled back in the bottom of the frame, scoring five runs on three hits. The first three runners of the inning reached base as Kelly Schweizer singled to center, Carol-Anne Sherrill was hit by a pitch, and Becca Rothrock was walked for the second of five times in the game, and was replaced by pinch runner Jasmine Berryman. Anna Smart put the first Abbey run on the board when she deposited a single to the gap in right center, scoring Schweizer. Alysia Stewart followed with a sacrifice fly to right that brought home Sherrill with the second run. Berryman moved to third on the play, and after Smart stole second, Kelsey Spangler chopped the ball back to the pitcher, who threw home, but Berryman never moved, allowing Spangler to reach first to load the bases. After a strikeout, pinch hitter Kinsey McClure worked a walk, scoring Berryman with the tying run.
Pinch hitter Katie Childers came on to hit for Chelsea Elmore, and she ripped a two-RBI single to right center, scoring Spangler and Smart to put the Abbey on top, 5-3.
WVSU answered with two runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game at five, but the Crusaders reclaimed their advantage in the bottom of the inning, exploding for five runs on two swings of the bat. After a leadoff flyout, Rothrock worked another walk, and she scored on Smart's two-run blast to left. Stewart and Spangler followed with singles, and Kathleen Pasquarella widened the gap to 10-5 with a three run homer that just barely cleared the top of the wall in center.
The lead was short lived, as the Yellow Jackets responded with five runs of their own in the top of the fifth, using a two-run homer, an infield RBI single, and two groundouts that produced runs. WVSU surged ahead in the sixth as Kayla Sturms doubled to right center and scored on a single by Bobbi Harper.
Neither team scored again until the bottom of the seventh, when the Abbey was down to its final three outs and trailing by one run. Rothrock worked a leadoff walk and was lifted for Brittany Southard. Smart laid down a bunt just in front of the plate that was scooped up by Sturms, whose throw was true, but was dropped by the second baseman, allowing Southard to race all the way to third. Stewart beat out an infield single to second to load the bases, and Spangler ended the game with a ringing single to right center, allowing the winning runs to score.
The Abbey finished with 12 hits as Spangler finished three for five with two RBI and two runs scored. Smart collected two hits with three RBI and three runs scored. Harper led West Virginia State with three hits and three RBI. Sturms, Best and Brittany Hyatt all had two hits as the Yellow Jackets finished with 12.
Southard, the third and final Abbey pitcher of the day, earned the win in one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, giving up one hit. Sara Pelegreen was charged the loss. She gave up the winning runs, unearned, on three hits in two innings. She walked three.
Game two was all West Virginia State as it bolted out to a 6-0 lead after five innings, including five in the first inning. The Yellow Jackets scored the last seven runs of the game, plating four in the fourth and three more in the sixth
The Crusaders totaled four hits as Elmore finished two for two. Sherrill and Rothrock had lone hits apiece. Hyatt and Marlena Frye Runyon led the Yellow Jackets with three hits apiece. Runyon and Kelsey Lorraine both drove in three runs.
Pelegreen was the winning pitcher, holding the Abbey to four hits over five scoreless innings, fanning six. Southard was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on five hits in two thirds of an inning.