The Belmont Abbey softball team won two games in the Conference Carolinas Tournament for the first time since 2009 as the Crusaders opened with a 13-3 elimination game win over Mount Olive, but the Crusaders season came to a end with an 8-1 loss to Pfeiffer. Belmont Abbey finishes the 2015 season with a mark of 22-23.
Belmont Abbey's 22 wins are the most since the 2006 season, when the Crusaders finished with 26.
The lead stayed true until the third when the Trojans moved ahead 2-1 on a two run homer by Savannah Becker, but the Crusaders responded with 12 unanswered runs, starting with four in the fifth.
One inning later, the Abbey exploded for five runs, four on McConnell's grand slam homer, which came after Periero scored on a fielder's choice groundout by Mixa. McConnell's blast powered the Crusaders lead to 10-2.
Needing at least one run to keep the game alive, Mount Olive did just that as Kelsey Akers clubbed a two out, two strike double to left center, scoring Taylor Carter.
Belmont Abbey struck three more times in the seventh to spread the lead to ten runs. McPeak scored Brooke Pegram with a sacrifice fly to left, followed by Lauren Clifford's run scoring single that chased home Periero. Faust closed the scoring with her third RBI of the game, delivering a single up the middle that scored Clifford.
The Crusaders recorded 15 hits as McPeak led the way with three on a double and two singles. She drove in two runs. McConnell drove in five runs on two hits. Faust added two hits and three RBI.
Samantha Jacobs won for the eleventh time as she held Mount Olive to three runs on six hits in six innings, striking out four. Madison Johnston fell to 15-6 in the defeat as she gave up six runs, only four earned, on nine hits in five innings. She struck out two.
In the nightcap, Belmont Abbey and Pfeiffer battled through two rain delays as the Falcons scored three times in each of the first two innings to bolt ahead 6-0.
Belmont Abbey scored its run in the fourth on Mackenzie Dziendziel clubbed the second homer of her season and a career, a blast to left.
Pfeiffer plated two insurance runs in the seventh to advance with an 8-1 victory.
Pfeiffer starter Sydney Poole went the distance in the circle to move her record to 10-6. She limited the Crusaders to one run on seven hits, striking out three and walking none.
Belmont Abbey senior Nikki Faust, in her final collegiate game, suffered the loss as her record fell to 8-5. She gave up six runs on five hits in two innings. Jacobs pitched the final five innings, striking out seven.
Today marked the end of the careers for four seniors: the Faust twins, McConnell & Nicole Stovall.