BELMONT, N.C. -- Timely hitting and solid pitching led Belmont Abbey to a sweep of Converse Wednesday in the opening doubleheader of Conference Carolinas softball action at Crusader Field. The Abbey won the opener 6-5 before taking the second game 4-2.
With the wins, the Crusaders improve to 10-6 overall, 2-0 in league play. Converse falls to 5-17, 0-2.
- Four Crusaders tallied two hits each -- Claire Doyle, Morgan Smith, Melissa Neyhouse and Peyton Whitley.
- Smith drove in three runs, while Doyle finished the contest with a pair of RBIs.
- Converse opened a 3-0 lead in the top of the third, but Belmont Abbey countered with three of its own in the bottom of the frame. Doyle's two-out double drove in Alexis Rogers from second, then two batters later, Smith doubled to right field to even the score.
- The Valkyries retook the lead with two unearned runs in the fifth, but the Crusaders rallied. Doyle made the score 5-3 with an RBI single in the fifth, then Katie Allison came home on an error in the sixth.
- A two-base error in the bottom of the seventh led to the Crusaders' game-winner. Doyle's fly ball to right was dropped before she took third on a sacrifice. Smith singled to left to give The Abbey the win in walk-off fashion.
- Jordanna Shorts, the third pitcher of the game for BAC, improved to 2-1 with three innings of relief. She allowed just two hits and an unearned run while striking out two.
- Gabrielle Cuevas (0-1) took the loss for Converse.
- Six different players recorded a hit.
- Converse took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth, plating single runs in the first and sixth.
- After a leadoff out, Brianna Embler reached on a bunt single and came home on Doyle's double to right center.
- Smith followed with an RBI single to left to tie the game, before Whitley homered to right center for the game-winner.
- Annabeth Watkins, who started game one, got the win for the Crusaders, throwing two scoreless innings. She improved to 6-3 on the season.
- Converse starter Marissa Martin (2-6) took the loss.
- Belmont Abbey continues its homestand and conference play on Saturday when it welcomes North Greenville to Crusader Field. The doubleheader begins at 1 p.m.