The Belmont Abbey softball team lost both games of a doubleheader at #21 Lenoir-Rhyne this evening, dropping the opener 7-5 and losing the nightcap, 5-1. The Crusaders scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning in game one to tie the contest, but Ashley Oliver hit a walk-off two run homer to give the Bears the lead. In game two, Lenoir-Rhyne led 1-0 after two but scored four in the sixth-three of the runs scoring on two homers-to gain the sweep.
The Bears improve to 20-5, while Belmont Abbey drops to 7-22.
In the opener, Lenoir-Rhyne scored the first five runs of the game, plating one in the first, one in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth.
The Crusaders only had one batter reach base through four and a third as Bears pitcher Maryann Hoskins faced the minimum up to that point. The only Crusader to reach base-Kinsey McClure was hit by a pitch to lead off the second-was doubled up on a lineout on the next pitch.
Hoskins cruised through six and one third innings before the Abbey mounted its rally. The Crusaders, which had only one hit through four and one-third, recorded five in the seventh inning alone to deadlock the game at five.
Brooke Baliles, who posted the Abbey's first hit in the fifth, drove in the first run of the game with a single to left, scoring Logan Phillips. Phillips entered the game for Kinsey McClure, who began the frame with a single, followed by another from Dani Marietta.
After a defensive substitution for the Bears and Amber Faust coming in to run for Baliles, Shanie McConnell blasted a double to left, plating Marietta and Faust to trim the deficit to 5-3. Nicole Stovall, the next batter, made it 5-3 with a single to left, scoring McConnell as Stovall raced to second on an error.
Stovall's contributions marked the end of the day for Hoskins, who left with one out and was replaced by Brandi Hole.
The first batter Hole faced was Mackenzie Dziendziel, who rolled a grounder to second, but the ball was muffed, allowing Stovall to score the tying run moments before Dziendziel was cut down trying to reach second.
Tied at five in the bottom of the seventh, Haily Jarman gave the Bears a leadoff single. She moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, but Oliver ended the game with a homer to right center, giving Lenoir-Rhyne the 7-5 victory.
Hole improved to 13-2 as she was credited with the win. Hoskins was charged with the tying run as Hole retired the last two batters, one by strikeout.
Nikki Faust took the loss after giving up three runs on two hits in the final inning and a third. She walked one. Samantha Jacobs gave up four runs, three earned, on six hits in the first five innings. She fanned four and walked two.
Baliles finished with two of the Abbey's six hits, with McClure, Stovall, Marietta and McConnell each totaling one.
In game two, Oliver opened the scoring the same way she ended game one: with a homer. This one was a solo shot in the second which gave the Bears a 1-0 lead.
Lenoir-Rhyne added four more in the sixth on two home runs and an RBI triple.
Hole was working a no-hitter through six innings before McClure recorded the first hit in the seventh, a leadoff single to short. Marietta moved her to second when she was hit by a pitch, but was retired on a fielder's choice groundout at third. Jena Reisenauer loaded the bases when she worked a walk and McConnell recorded an RBI as she drew a walk that scored Marietta. A double play groundout ended the game.
Hole fanned ten in the complete game effort, allowing a run on one hit, walking four and hitting two batters. Catelyn Presley took the loss after giving up five runs on ten hits in five and two-thirds innings. She struck out one.