The Belmont Abbey softball team recorded 23 runs in a doubleheader sweep over the visiting North Greenville Crusaders this afternoon at Crusader Field. Belmont Abbey won the opener 13-11 and completed the sweep with a 10-0, five inning victory in game two. Belmont Abbey is now 10-19 overall and 6-4 in Conference Carolinas, while North Greenville falls to 14-14 overall and 5-7 in Conference Carolinas.
In game one, the Abbey scored early and often, erupting for runs in the first inning beginning with a Jena Reisenauer double to right center that brought in Mackenzie Dziendziel and a lot of momentum.
After the first inning, the Abbey would go on to put up two more runs before North Greenville put up a seven run fifth inning, highlighted by Emily Murphy's grand slam that hit nipped the scoreboard in left field. This put the North Greenville Crusaders ahead 8-7.
Belmont Abbey responded quickly. In the bottom of that fifth inning, the Abbey used five hits, two walks, and a stolen base to score five runs of its own. This put the Abbey in front 12-8. North Greenville in turn responded with their own solid offensive effort in the top of the sixth, leading off with a triple. North Greenville went on to score three runs, but Belmont Abbey's defense kept North Greenville from taking the lead. Shortstop Brooke Pegram singled in Shanie McConnell in the bottom of the sixth to cap off the high-scoring contest.
Nikki Faust, the third of three Crusaders pitchers, moved her record to 4-3 as she allowed three runs on four hits in two and one-thirds innings, striking out one. Murphy, the second of four North Greenville pitchers, fell to 1-1 as she gave up six runs on seven hits in four innings, walking two.
Game two was all Belmont Abbey, as Samantha Jacobs tossed a complete game, two hit shutout and the offense invoked the run rule after five innings. The Crusaders batted around in the bottom of the second inning, exploding for runs, highlighted by McPeak's grand slam to center field. McConnell added a two RBI single, followed by a run scoring single from Dziendziel.
Belmont Abbey tacked on another in the fourth, as McConnell's infield single scored Reisenauer for a 10-0 lead.
Jacobs worked around a one out walk in the fifth, later cancelling the runner at second to retire the side as the game ended in the top of the fifth. She moved her record to 4-9 as she allowed two hits, both singles. No base-runners reached third base.
Christene Phillips took the loss after allowing nine runs, only two earned, on seven hits in two innings, walking two.
Belmont Abbey finished with nine hits as McConnell totaled three with four RBI. Amber Faust collected two hits. McPeak totaled four RBI, all on her grand slam.