The Belmont Abbey softball team closed out the 2014 season with a pair of losses at Pfeiffer this afternoon, losing the opener 1-0 and dropping the nightcap 5-1. Pfeiffer improves to 17-23-1 overall and 7-8-1 in Conference Carolinas, while the Abbey completes the season with a final record of 9-36 overall and 3-13 in Conference Carolinas.
Belmont Abbey entered the day needing at least one win to have a chance at the final Conference Carolinas Tournament spot, but Lees-McRae earned the eighth and final seed by virtue of sweeping the Crusaders on April 6.
Game one was a shutout for six innings until the Falcons earned a 1-0 walkoff win, spoiling the dominating performance in the circle by Nikki Faust. Faust scattered four hits over six scoreless innings, striking out four and walking none.
In the seventh however, the Falcons scored the winning run on a walkoff double to right center by Julie Bullington, plating Khristin Isley from first.
Belmont Abbey's best chance to score came in the third. Amber Faust led off with a single to center, was sacrificed to second by Jena Reisanauer and raced to third on Nikki Faust's single to right. With one out, a groundout to shortstop and a strikeout ended the inning.
The Crusaders threatened again in the sixth as Mackenzie Dziendziel led off with a single and stole second. After the next two batters were retired, Kinsey McClure singled her to third, but a flyout ended the inning.
Down to its final three outs, the Abbey went down in order in the seventh.
Pfeiffer pitcher Sam Jarmusch matched Nikki Faust inning for inning, as she held the Abbey to just four hits, striking out five and walking two. Catelyn Presley gave up the winning run to take the loss. Four different Crusaders had one hit.
In game two, the Falcons struck first in the bottom of the second but the Crusaders matched it in the third. Katherine Starnes led off with a single and moved to second on Nikki Faust's single. Brooke Baliles moved them up one base with a sacrifice, and Starnes scored on Dziendziel's sacrifice fly to center.
The contest remained a 1-1 stalemate until the fourth when the Falcons moved ahead for good with a run on a Rebecca Foli single and one inning later Pfeiffer used a hit and a Crusader error to score three times and stretch the lead to 5-1.
After Dziendziel's sacrifice fly, the next 13 Crusaders were retired in order to end the game.
Sydney Poole allowed one run on two hits in seven innings to move her record to 7-9. Samantha Jacobs fell to 5-17 as she gave up five runs, four earned, on seven hits. She fanned four.
Starnes and Nikki Faust had one hit each.