FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. -- Claire Doyle tallied five hits and drove in three runs, lifting Belmont Abbey to a doubleheader sweep of Emmanuel in Conference Carolinas softball action on Tuesday. The Crusaders won the opener 5-2, then took the nightcap 8-2.
With the victories, Belmont Abbey (20-20) surpassed its win total from a year ago and guaranteed itself a spot in the Conference Carolinas Tournament April 26-28.
- Cameron Cooper and Doyle each had three hits, while Melissa Neyhouse added two.
- Belmont Abbey outhit Emmanuel 10-4 in the contest.
- The Lions jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first after a two-run double.
- The Crusaders struck back in the fourth, putting up five unearned runs. Claire Doyle singled before Katie Allison reached on an error. After an out, another error loaded the bases. A fielder's choice plated a run, then Neyhouse tied the game at 2-2 with an RBI single. Two runs scored on an error before another error made the score 5-2.
- Annabeth Watkins allowed just one base runner to reach second after the first inning, retiring the side in order three times. She finished with a four-hitter, striking out four against one walk, to improve to 10-10.
- Doyle was one of four players to record two hits. Elena Duran, Payton Whitley and Allison also hit the mark. Doyle, Duran and Hailey Gass had a pair of RBIs.
- Emmanuel plated the first run in the first, but the Crusaders struck right back with two in the second. Duran singled down the right field line to tie the score, then Gass reached on a fielder's choice.
- In the fourth, The Abbey added to the lead on a run-scoring single by Doyle, but the Lions closed the gap to 3-2 in the bottom of the frame.
- The Crusaders broke the game open with three runs in the fifth and two more in the seventh. Brianna Embler plated a run on a groundout before Cooper singled in a run. A bases loaded walk to Gass capped the rally. Duran and Doyle drove in the final two runs.
- Ivorie Maltby (8-8) threw the complete game. She allowed eight hits and walked two, while striking out five.
- Belmont Abbey wraps up the regular season next Monday at Young Harris.
- The Crusaders will be seeded sixth, seventh or eighth for the league tournament.