Neyhouse Leads Crusaders to Split on Day One of Conference Tournament

Neyhouse Leads Crusaders to Split on Day One of Conference Tournament

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Melissa Neyhouse had two hits and batted in four runs Friday afternoon, helping sixth-seeded Belmont Abbey to a split on the first day of the 2018 Conference Carolinas Tournament in Burlington, N.C. After falling to No. 3 North Greenville 3-0 in the opener, the Crusaders posted a 6-2 win over No. 8 Barton to advance to Saturday.

Elena Duran, Alyssa Sciaudone and Chace Helms combined with Neyhouse to go 8-for-12 in the contest, each adding two hits. The Crusaders outhit the Bulldogs 9-4 in the contest.

Belmont Abbey took a 1-0 lead in the third when Neyhouse singled home Duran, who led off with a double and went to third on a groundout. It broke the game open with five runs in the fourth, highlighted by a bases-loaded double by Neyhouse that turned a 2-0 lead into 5-0. One batter earlier, Sciaudone singled with the bases loaded, scoring Duran from third.

Annabeth Watkins (9-13) was masterful in the circle, allowing just two hits and a walk over six innings. She struck out two before Helms came on to pitch the seventh, allowing two unearned runs, before closing the door. Makayla Meeks took the loss for Barton, falling to 2-4.

Earlier in the day, Neyhouse had a pair of hits and Ivorie Maltby allowed just three hits over four innings, but North Greenville scrapped its way to a 3-0 win. Maltby did not allow a hit in until a one-out triple in the third. A groundout by the next batter put North Greenville up 1-0. She gave up two more hits in the fourth before Watkins was summoned in relief.

NGU added two insurance runs in the sixth, then retired the side in order in the seventh for the win. Amanda Coffrin improved to 20-4, scattered four hits and two walks against six strikeouts.

Maltby, who did not walk a batter, took the loss to fall to 6-13.

Neyhouse doubled in the fourth and singled in the sixth, with Sciaudone and Alexis Pereiro also registering hits.

Belmont Abbey continues play tomorrow at noon against No. 1-seed Limestone, a 4-0 loser to King on Friday night.