The Belmont Abbey softball team opened the 2015 season with two losses to the visiting Carson-Newman Eagles by scores of 5-4 and 3-1 this afternoon at Crusader Field. Belmont Abbey had the tying runs in scoring position in the seventh inning of the opener and brought it to the plate in the second game, but could not get them home as the Eagles earned the sweep.
In the opener, Samantha Jacobs fanned five as the game was scoreless until the third when both teams pushed across one run.
Two innings later, the Eagles struck for three runs as they used a pair of RBI doubles and an RBI single to surge ahead 4-1.
Belmont Abbey pulled one back in the bottom of the inning as Shanie McConnell worked a leadoff walk, was sacrificed to second by Anna Mixa, then scored from there as an Eagles throwing error on a Reisenauer grounder chased her home to close the lead to 4-2.
After a solo homer by Elayna Siebert in the sixth moved Carson-Newman's lead to 5-2, the Crusaders offense came alive as they plated one in the sixth and one more in the seventh.
In the sixth, McConnell's sacrifice fly to center was deep enough to plate Nicole Stovall to trim the deficit to 5-3.
One inning later, the Crusaders plated a lone run to close the gap to 5-4, but it could have been much more.
Mixa led off with a walk and moved to second on a single by Amber Faust. They both moved up on a wild pitch, and then Reisenauer walked to load the bases with no outs.
On the next at bat, Mackenzie Dziendziel reached on a fielder's choice that cut down Reisenauer at second, but Mixa scored easily from third to cut the gap to 5-4.
With runners at first and third with nobody out, Dziendziel stole second, but the game ended on the next at bat. Katherine Starnes rolled a grounder to short and was easily thrown out, but Dziendziel veered too far off the bag at second and was cut down to end the game.
Danielle Kranz went the distance in the circle for the Eagles as she threw 157 pitches. She struck out six and walked ten giving up four runs, three earned, on three hits. Jacobs yielded four runs, three earned, on seven hits in four innings. She fanned five. Reisenauer pitched the final three innings, giving up one run on three hits.
In the nightcap, Carson-Newman jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the first but the Crusaders matched it in their half as Brooke Pegram sped home on McConnell's single back up the middle.
The Eagles fired right back in the second as they grabbed the lead for good on a Talisa Fiame double to the gap in left center. Three innings later, the Eagles tacked on an insurance run to extend the advantage to 3-1.
Down to its final three outs, the Crusaders brought the tying run to the plate with one out, but a double play ended the game.
Lindsay Dean earned the win for Carson-Newman as she allowed one run on seven hits, striking out three. Nikki Faust was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs, two earned, on seven hits in five innings. She struck out one.