March 12, 2019
Late Inning Magic Gets Softball A Sweep of Belmont Abbey
SALISBURY, N.C. – Catawba scored late in both games during a doubleheader sweep of visiting Belmont Abbey on Tuesday afternoon at Whitley Field. Preston Ellenberg had a walk-off homer to win game one 5-3 then Carlee Brawley’s two-out RBI ignited a three-run sixth in a 7-5 victory in game two. The Catawba Indians improve to 11-6, while the Crusaders fall to 11-8.
In a 1-1 tie in the sixth of the opener, run-scoring singles by Sydney Goertzen and Bailey Benton put the Lady Indians on top 3-1. Melissa Neyhouse tied the game for the Crusaders in the top of the seventh with a two-out, two-run single.
The first two Catawba of the seventh were retired before Jordan Dean was able to get a two-out single. Ellenberg stepped in and connected on the next pitch to end the game with a home run to centerfield.
Ellenberg had pitched five scoreless inning on just one hit before exiting only to return to belt the game winning homer. It made a winner of Madison Hunter (3-1), who had allowed three runs over two innings. Ellenberg and Benton each had two hits and two RBI. Leah Huggins also had two hits.
Sierrah McCarthy erased a 2-1 deficit in game two with a three-run single in the second. The Crusaders came back to tie the game on a two-run single by Alexis Rogers in the fourth.
It was still tied in the sixth when the Lady Indians bunched together four straight hits, including three doubles to take the lead. Allie Baker started it with a one-out double and Brawlee followed with the go-ahead double. Dean doubled home Brawley and Ellenberg singled home Dean for a 7-4 lead.
The Crusaders opened their seventh with three straight singles to load the bases. Hunter came in and got out of trouble by allowing just one run on a wild pitch and getting a pair of infield popups and a ground out to short to end it. It was her third save of the year.
Brooke Walser (3-3) got the win with six innings of work. She allowed five runs on nine hits with three strikeouts. Huggins led Catawba with three hits in the nightcap. Baker and Dean each had two.
Payton Whitley had three hits and a pair of RBI for Belmont Abbey. Claire Doyle had two hits. Neyhouse had two hits in the opener. Ivorie Maltby (2-4) took the loss in both games for the Crusaders.
Catawba entertains Bloomsburg on Thursday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Whitley Field.
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