BELMONT, N.C. -- Kaitlin Moore had a bases-loaded double to spark a four-run fourth and Melissa Neyhouse and Claire Doyle each had three hits, leading Belmont Abbey to an 8-7 victory over Emmanuel in the opening game of a Conference Carolinas softball doubleheader on Friday.
The Lions came back with a 8-2 victory in the nightcap to earn the split.
Belmont Abbey (9-19, 2-2) trailed 2-0 in the opener, but cut the lead in half with a run in the third. Doyle and Brook Pegram singled. Two outs later, walks to Anna Mixa and Neyhouse pushed across a run.
Emmanuel (8-14, 1-5) gained the run back in the fourth on a squeeze play before the Crusaders took the lead for good in the bottom of the frame. Katie Allison led off with a walk, then took second when on a one-out single by Doyle. After the second out and a wild pitch, Vienna Benavides walked to load the bases, setting up Moore for her go-ahead double. She lined a pitch over the right fielder's head that brought home all three runners, putting The Abbey up 4-3. After a walk and single re-loaded the bases, Peyton Wilson singled for a 5-3 advantage.
The Abbey took advantage of an error in the fifth for another run, then gained two much-needed insurance runs in the sixth. Allison drove in pinch runner Kelkcee Fulton with a two-out single and came all the way around to score on a throwing error on the play.
Emmanuel rallied for four runs and had the tying run on second, but starting pitcher Annabeth Watkins returned to the circle to get the final out. Watkins (3-8) scattered eight hits, allowing three runs. Erin Harden (5-5) took the loss for the Lions.
In the nightcap, Elana Duran had Belmont Abbey's only hit. Fulton and Pegram scored runs, while Alexis Rogers had an RBI on a groundout. Both teams has complete games from their pitchers -- Taylor Saxon (3-4) earned the win, while Ivorie Maltbie (3-4) took the loss.
Belmont Abbey continues its eight-game homestand on Saturday against Erskine. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.