The Belmont Abbey softball team suffered a pair of shutout losses at Lees-McRae this afternoon, dropping the opener 2-0 and falling in the nightcap 3-0. Lees-McRae improves to 8-29 overall and 3-5 in Conference Carolinas, while the Crusaders drop to 9-30 overall and 3-9 in the league.
In the opener, the Bobcats scored both of their runs in the second as Taylor Billings came home on Kendall Fowler's single to center, followed by Sarah Stallings's sacrifice fly to center that scored Jessica Smith.
Belmont Abbey put a runner in scoring position just once, coming in the second, as Brooke Baliles singled to left and moved to second when the ball was misplayed.
Taylor Billings went the distance in the circle for the Bobcats, as she allowed four hits, striking out one. Samantha Jacobs took the loss after giving up two runs on four hits, striking out five.
Game two mirrored the first, as Lees-McRae scored all of its runs in the same inning, this time in the third. The Bobcats received a pair of RBI doubles-from Sadie Lagle and Hollie Crickenberger-and an RBI single from Amanda Decker.
The Crusaders had three chances to produce runs, with the first opportunity coming in the second. Kinsey McClure led off with a single up the middle, moved to second on a passed ball and to third on a fielder's choice. At third with two outs, McClure was cut down at home stealing.
Two innings later, McClure ripped a one out double, but was left stranded after a lineout and a strikeout.
The final chance came in the fifth as Jordan Killian reached third with two outs, but a popup ended the inning.
Celeste Sheppard was credited with the win after holding the Crusaders to four runs in a complete game effort. She fanned four and walked two.
Nikki Faust started the first two and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on five hits, striking out one.
McClure had two of the Abbey's four hits with Mackenzie Dziendziel and Killian recording one each.