BELMONT, N.C. – Brooke Pegram and Elena Duran each had a pair of hits and Annabeth Watkins threw six solid innings of relief, lifting Belmont Abbey to a 4-3 victory in the opening game of a softball doubleheader Thursday at Crusader Field. The Indians rallied to take the nightcap 3-2 to earn a split. The Crusaders move to 5-5 on the year, while Catawba moves to 3-3.
Catawba opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first, but Belmont Abbey answered in the bottom of the first. Briana Embler walked and stole second. One out later, Melissa Neyhouse doubled to left to tie the game at one. A bases-loaded walk in the second put the Indians back in front in the second.
In the third, the Crusaders tied the game again on an RBI single by Kaitlin Moore. She plated Pegram, who singled up the middle, then took second on an error. However, Catawba went back in front, 3-2, in the fourth on a single, wild pitch and RBI double, all with two outs. The lead changed for good in the fourth. Duran and Morgan Smith led off with singles. A one-out groundout plated the first run, before Pegram delivered an RBI single to left one batter later.
Pegram and Duran paced The Abbey's seven-hit attack. Annabeth Watkins (2-3) gained the win with 6.0 innings of relief. She allowed one run, scattering five hits and a walk around a strikeout. Brooke Walser (1-2) took the loss for Catawba.
In the nightcap, Alyssa Sciaudone hit a solo home run in the second inning to put the Crusaders ahead 1-0, but Catawba answered with a pair of runs in the fifth. In the bottom of the frame, Alexis Pereiro drew a leadoff walk, was sacrificed to second, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a groundout by Pegram. Catawba countered with the deciding run in the top of the sixth. With the bases loaded, an infield error broke the tie.
Madison Hunter (1-0) earned the win while Walser earned the save. Ivorie Maltbie (0-1) took the loss despite throwing a complete game and allowing just one earned run. She allowed five hits and a walk, while striking out one.
Belmont Abbey travels to Mars Hill on Saturday to continue non-conference play.