The Belmont Abbey softball team ran its winning streak to eight games with a pair of convincing wins at Pfeiffer this afternoon, dropping the Falcons 7-0 in game one and capping the sweep with a 5-3 victory in game two. The Crusaders move into second place in the league standings as they improve to 16-19 overall and 10-4 in league play, while Pfeiffer falls to 22-17 overall and 9-5 in Conference Carolinas.
The victory guarantees the Crusaders can finish with no worse than a 10-10 record in league play, which will be their first finish at .500 or better in Conference Carolinas since 2009.
The first game was all Belmont Abbey, as pitcher Samantha Jacobs tossed a complete game shutout, striking out four and scattering seven hits.
Scoreless through two innings, the Crusaders fired ahead 4-0 in the third as Sloane McPeak drove in Brooke Pegram with a single, followed by an RBI double from Jena Reisenauer. Amber Faust then ripped a two RBI single to right center, chasing home McPeak and Reisenauer for a 4-0 Abbey lead.
One inning later the lead grew to 6-0 as Mackenzie Dziendziel worked a leadoff walk and moved to second on a single by McPeak. After a groundout moved both runners up one base, Anna Mixa singled to center, scoring Dziendziel and McPeak after a Falcons throwing error on the play.
The Crusaders closed the scoring in the sixth as Pegram reached on an infield single to begin the inning, moved to third on Alexis Pererio's double and scored on Dziendziel's single to left.
Jacobs made the lead stand up, as all seven hits she allowed were singles as her record moved to 6-9. Pfeiffer starter Sam Jarmusch fell to 8-6 after allowing six runs, five earned, on seven hits in five innings.
Pereiro finished with three hits with McPeak and Pegram adding two as Belmont Abbey totaled 11 on the day.
In game two, the Crusaders again used a big third inning to grab a lead they would never lose. Belmont Abbey scored all five of its runs in the frame, all on extra base hits.
McPeak opened the scoring with an RBI double to left center, scoring Pereiro. Reisenauer, the next batter, followed with a towering homer to left, a three run shot that upped the Crusaders lead to 4-0. Two batters later, Shanie McConnell clouted a solo homer to left for a 5-0 lead.
Pfeiffer scored all of its runs in the fifth, but that was all the Falcons would get, as Nikki Faust worked around the inning to earn the victory. She pitched five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits as she moved her record to 5-3. Shannan Mas earned the save as she held the Falcons to just three hits over two scoreless innings, striking out four.
Kristan Durant fell to 3-6 on the defeat. She allowed five runs on six hits in two and two-thirds innings, striking out four.
Belmont Abbey finished with ten hits as Dani Marietta led the way with three. McPeak added two. Reisenauer drove in three runs.