Columbus State broke a 4-4 tie by scoring three times in the fifth inning to hold off Belmont Abbey 7-5 this evening in the opening game of the Cougar Classic. Columbus State improves to 5-2 while the Crusaders drop to 3-4.
The Crusaders are back in action twice tomorrow, taking on Montevallo and Young Harris.
Tonight, Belmont Abbey jumped ahead 1-0 in the second as Sloane McPeak reached on a leadoff error, then was replaced by Kelsey Boughman. Jena Reisanauer sacrificed Boughman to second, who then moved to third on a Dani Marietta single. Boughman scored on Amber Faust's perfectly executed bunt single for a 1-0 lead.
Belmont Abbey kept its lead until the bottom of the third when the Cougars plated three runs, all on Kristen Carr's three run shot to left. All three runs were unearned after a Crusaders error.
McConnell's contributions knotted the game at four, but Columbus State scored three times in the fifth, one on Carr's RBI double, and the other two on a groundout and and infield single.
Belmont Abbey cut the lead to 7-5 in the sixth as Alexis Pereiro worked a leadoff walk, moved to second on a Dziendziel single and to third on a McConnell sacrifice bunt. She scored on Anna Mixa's deep flyout to left to shrink the margin to 7-5.
Neither team threatened again, as the Crusaders went down in order in the top of the seventh.
Carr worked the final three innings in the circle to move her record to 2-0. In addition to finishing 2-3 with four RBI at the plate, she limited the Crusaders to one run on two hits, striking out three. Samantha Jacobs fell to 1-2 after yielding seven runs, only three earned, on nine hits in six innings. She fanned six and walked three.
McConnell finished with two of the Abbey's five hits with a pair of RBI.