Indians Finish Sweep of Belmont Abbey in 5-1 Win


HICKORY, N.C. -- With a 5-1 victory over Belmont Abbey College, the Catawba College softball team completed a three game season sweep over the Crusaders. The game took place at Lenoir-Rhyne's Bear's Field as part of the first day of the Catawba/Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational. Catawba improves to 7-0 with the victory as Belmont Abbey falls to 4-7 on the year.

Both sides scored in the third inning with the visiting Crusaders drawing first blood. McKenzie Dziendziel reached base after Catawba's Caroline Turner allowed a walk. Dziendziel stole second before teammate Brittany Ortiz drove her in with a double to left center.

Catawba responded in the bottom half of the inning when Ashley Wagoner led off with a double of her own to left field. Holli Chandler utilized a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner to third where Turner brought her in on a sacrifice fly to center.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Catawba Lady Indians broke the game wide open with a four run inning. With runners on first and second, Katherine Shumaker laid down a sacrifice bunt back to the Crusaders' pitcher, Amelia Saldivar. In an attempt to get Shumaker at first, Saldivar sailed the throw allowing one run to score and leaving Shumaker and Gina Gerone at second and third, respectively. The error also concluded the day for Saldivar who was replaced by Peyton Wilson on the mound. Wilson didn't fare any better after walking Morgan Brann to load the bases. Taylor Adams followed with a single to advance everybody one bag. Wilson then walked Wagoner to bring in the third run of the inning. Wilson then earned two outs and almost got out of the inning, but Kristen Stinnard roped a single to left to bring in a final run and securing the Indians of batting the entire order in the inning. Wilson was replaced by Alyssa Buell after the inning an shutdown the Lady Indians over the final two innings.

Turner took the win for Catawba with 5.1 innings pitched, giving up three hits and a run. The sophomore recorded four strikeouts and two walks in the process. Catawba's starter, Preston Ellenberg lasted 1.2 innings before being pulled with bases loaded. Despite allowing three walks, Ellenberg gave up just one hit.

Saldivar was credited with the loss for the Crusaders in three innings of work. The starter gave up four runs on three hits and recorded a walk. Wilson was credited with a single inning of action, two hits, one run and a pair of walks. Buell finished up with just one hit and one walk in the two innings and also recorded Belmont Abbey's only strikeout of the game.

Six different Catawba players recorded a hit in the game with Brann and Wagoner tallying doubles.

Catawba will return home for day two of the invitational with an 11:00 a.m. meeting against Augusta. The Lady Indians will play again at 3:00 p.m. to host Georgia College.

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