The Belmont Abbey softball team split a doubleheader against the visiting Catawba Indians, losing the opener 4-0 and rallying for a 2-1 win in eight innings in the nightcap. Senior catcher Amber Faust drove home freshman third baseman Sloane McPeak with the winning run after MacKenzie Dziendziel tied the game at one with an RBI single. Belmont Abbey is now 8-17, while the Indians move to 11-11.
In game one, Catawba opened its lead in the first as the Indians scored on a Crusaders throwing error. Caroline Turner led off with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. After a groundout, Delane Smith walked. Following a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Smith broke for second, but the throw down was dropped, allowing Turner to scamper home on the error for a 1-0 Catawba lead.
Two innings later Catawba's lead moved to 3-0 on Gina Gerone's two run homer over the leftfield fence.
The Indians tacked on another run in the sixth as Katherine Shumaker led off with a double down the leftfield line, was sacrificed to third by Emily Hunneycutt and scored on Kristen Stinnard's infield single.
Carley Tysinger went the distance for the Indians in the circle, as she tossed a five hit shutout, striking out nine and walking none. Samantha Jacobs took the loss after giving up four runs, three earned, on seven hits in six innings. She struck out two.
The second game was scoreless until the contest moved to extra innings. With the international tiebreaker rule in effect, Catawba began the eighth inning with Kim Fesperman-who made the last out of the seventh inning-on second base. After Nikki Faust retired the first two batters of the inning, Turner lined a double off the wall in center, scoring Fesperman easily with the game's first run. A groundout to third ended the inning.
Down to its final three outs, the Crusaders wasted no time tying the game at one, as Dziendziel blooped a single to left, scoring Pereiro-who began the inning on second base-easily with the tying run.
After Dani Marietta fouled out on a bunt attempt that nabbed Dziendziel at first for a double play, McPeak hit a screaming double just inside the third base line, rolling all the way to the wall for a double.
On the next at bat, with two strikes, Faust slipped a single in front of the rightfielder, allowing McPeak to race home with the winning run.
Both pitchers were masterful, as Nikki Faust struck out five in eight innings, allowing an unearned run on six hits. Turner was the hard luck loser, as she fanned three and walked one, giving up two runs, one earned, on seven hits.
McPeak and Dziendziel both led the Abbey with two hits as the Crusaders totaled seven.