The Belmont Abbey softball team honored four seniors as it celebrated senior day with a doubleheader sweep over the visiting Brevard Tornados this afternoon at Crusader Field. Three seniors accounted four all three runs in the 3-0 win in game one, and the sweep was completed with a 9-7 victory in game two. Belmont Abbey improves to 9-24, while Brevard slips to 12-21.
In the opener, Samantha Jacobs tossed a complete game three hit shutout as the offense gave her all three runs in the third inning.
Katherine Starnes led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Kaitlyn Jones. Kinsey McClure, one of the four seniors honored pre-game, sliced a single down the leftfield line and raced to third as Starnes beat the throw to third. Dani Marietta then walked to load the bases. After a strikeout, senior catcher Brooke Baliles laced a groundball just to the inside of the third base bag, allowing McClure and Starnes to score easily. Senior Jordan Killian was hit by a pitch to load the bases again, and the final run of the game scored when senior Shannon Cardillo worked a walk to score Marietta.
Jacobs made the lead stand up, as Brevard did not record a hit after allowing a leadoff double in the fourth.
Jamie Hroback took the loss after giving up three runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out four and walking three. Jacobs fanned five and walked four.
Belmont Abbey finished with seven hits as Mackenzie Dziendziel, McClure and Baliles each totaled two. Baliles had two RBI with Cardillo recording the other.
The second game was an offensive outburst as the two teams combined for 16 runs on 25 hits.
The Crusaders never trailed and they broke the game open in the fifth after the Tornados cut their lead to 5-1.
Belmont Abbey scored the first five runs of the game, starting with two in the second. Marietta led off with a walk and scored on Shanie McConnell's blistering one hop double off the wall in right center. An error on the play moved her to third and she scored on Nikki Faust's sacrifice fly to left center to increase the lead to 2-0.
Two innings later, the Abbey tacked on three more as McConnell led off with a walk and scored on Faust's double to right center. After moving to third on a wild pitch, twin sister Amber Faust reached on a fielder's choice as Nikki Faust raced back to third on a grounder. Killian drove in her first run of the game with a single down the rightfield line, scoring Nikki Faust, and Dziendziel made it 5-0 with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Amber Faust.
Brevard cut into the Abbey's lead in the fifth, scoring four runs on five hits, including a pair of RBI doubles to close the lead to 5-4, but the Abbey matched it in the bottom of the frame as it scored four runs on five hits.
Amber Faust, Killian and Starnes each laced RBI singles, while Dziendziel reached on a fielder's choice that scored McConnell from third. Starnes's single capped off the scoring, which increased the Abbey's lead to 9-4.
Brevard mounted one final rally, scoring three times in the sixth, but Jacobs, who entered the game in the sixth to pitch for Nikki Faust, retired the Tornados in order in the seventh to cap the win.
Nikki Faust, who finished 2-3 with two RBI and a run scored, earned the win in the circle as she struck out four in five innings, allowing four runs on ten hits. Alyssa Miller took the loss after she surrendered five runs, four earned, on five hits in three and one-thirds innings.
Belmont Abbey finished with 12 hits as McConnell led the way with three. Starnes, the Faust twins and Killian all had two. Killian, Dziendziel and Nikki Faust all had two RBI.