BELMONT, NC - The Belmont Abbey softball team earned a sweep against the Converse Valkyries this afternoon. Game scored were 16-0 and 5-4. The Crusaders now stand at 5-15-2 in 2017 and 3-3 in conference play. Converse moved to 2-14 on the season and 0-2 in Conference Carolinas play.
In game one, the Crusaders stuck early and often. A double by Melissa Neyhouse scored Vienna Benevides. Later in the inning, Alyssa Sciaudone, Katherine Starnes, and Brooke Pegram hit three singles in a row, with Pegram stealing second right after. During that surge Peyton Wilson, Sciaudone, and Neyhouse all scored making it a 5-0 Abbey lead early. Later in the inning, Starnes scored on a single by Brianna Embler to give the Abbey a 6-0 lead after the first inning.
The second inning was highlighted by Wilson's 2-run homer right after Benavides reached base. This put the Crusaders in front 8-0. Later in the inning, Pegram tripled in Anna Mixa. Alexis Pereiro followed up with an RBI single and a 12-0 lead. Pereiro would cap off the scoring in the inning when she was brought home by Wilson.
The pitching and defense played well too, forcing a 3-up, 3-down third inning. in the bottom of the inning, Alexa Panzano scored on a single by Allison Kennedy. In the next inning, Lauren Clifford brought home Neyhouse, giving Belmont Abbey a 16-0 win.
for the game, Neyhouse went 2-for-4 with three runs and an RBI, while Wilson was 2-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs to lead the Crusaders' powerful offensive attack. Benavides was 4-for-4 with two runs. Sciaudone chipped in with a 2-for-2 performance with two runs and an RBI. Sophomore Amelia Saldivar got the win as she threw a complete game, giving up just four Valkyrie hits and one walk in five innings. Belmont Abbey scored in every inning of offense this game.
In game two, Converse scored a run early, but the Crusaders responded in the second with five runs. Neyhouse started off the inning with a single, and Dani Marietta followed up with a home run. Benavides and Mackenzie Dziendziel would go on to record RBIs and make the Abbey's lead 5-1.
The Valkyries scored three runs in the top of the third, but it was the last time the Abbey would give up any more runs. The Crusaders only surrendered one hit in the final three innings of play and the Abbey took game two 5-4.
Belmont Abbey will have an intra-squad scrimmage tomorrow and will face Lees-McRae on Friday, March 24 in Banner Elk, NC.