The Belmont Abbey softball team split a doubleheader with Lees-McRae this afternoon, losing the opener 4-1 but rallying for a 12-4, six inning victory in game two. Belmont Abbey moves to 18-21 overall and 12-6 in Conference Carolinas, while the Bobcats drop to 6-36 overall and 1-13 in league play.
Today's game was played at Crusader Field after Lees-McRae's field was deemed unplayable. Despite playing at home, the Crusaders were the designated visiting team for both games.
Belmont Abbey will wrap up the regular season tomorrow with a doubleheader at King starting at 2:00 p.m.
In the opener, all of the scoring came in the second inning. Belmont Abbey grabbed the first lead at 1-0 as Anna Mixa worked a one out walk, moved to second on a groundout by Amber Faust and over to third on a groundout by Shanie McConnell. She scored on Dani Marietta's single back up the middle for a 1-0 lead.
Lees-McRae, in turn, answered with four unearned runs in the bottom of the inning to move ahead 4-1. The Crusaders allowed the first run on an error, followed by two Lees-McRae singles, then a two run double by Sarah Stallings. Stallings later scored on a wild pitch for the final run of the game.
Charlie Dutton moved her record to 3-16 in the victory, as she gave up one run on four hits in five innings, striking out six. Taylor Billings picked up her first save as she held the Crusaders to one hit over two scoreless innings. Samantha Jacobs gave up four unearned runs on three hits in six innings, striking out eight as her record fell to 8-10.
Belmont Abbey finished with five hits, all from five different players.
The nightcap was all Crusaders after the Bobcats scored twice in the bottom of first. Belmont Abbey tied the game at two in the top of the second as Amber Faust and Mixa both scored on wild pitches.
One inning later Mixa gave the Abbey the lead for good, blasting a grand slam to dead center for a 6-2 lead. Lees-McRae pulled two back in the bottom of the inning to cut the Abbey's lead to 6-4, but the Crusaders ended all doubt in the fifth, exploding for five runs, starting with Sloane McPeak's solo homer off the batting cages in left for her Conference Carolinas leading ninth homer of the year.
Marietta followed with a two RBI single down the leftfield line and a two RBI single up the middle by Nicole Stovall to widen the Abbey's lead to 11-4.
Down to its final three outs and in danger of a run rule, Lees-McRae only had one batter reach on a walk, as Shannan Mas struck out the final two batters of the game for a 12-4 Crusaders victory.
Nikki Faust pitched the first three innings, allowing four runs on six hits to move her record to 7-3. Mas pitched the final three innings to earn her third save. She struck out two and allowed one hit over three scoreless innings.
Belmont Abbey rapped out 10 hits as Mixa finished four for four with a double, a grand slam and four RBI. McPeak added two hits.