Softball

Softball Sweeps Doubleheader From Belmont Abbey

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BELMONT, N.C. -- Catawba claimed wins in both ends of a softball doubleheader against Belmont Abbey on Thursday afternoon at Crusader Field. The Catawba Indians won by the scores of 5-3 and 2-1 in improving to 8-6 overall. The Crusaders fall to 2-8.

Jordan Dean homered twice in the opener, including a decisive two-run shot in the top of the seventh. It made a winner of Brooke Walser (2-1), who gave up three runs, two earned, over a complete game. She allowed six hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

The Crusaders scored single runs in the each of the first three innings. Catawba got a two-run single from Kaylee Cook in the second and a solo homer by Dean in the third. Tied in the seventh, Riley Tucker led off with a single and pinch-runner Cameron Shaffner was sacrificed to second. Dean then connected on her tie-breaking homer.

Tucker, Dean and Cook each had two hits for Catawba. Melissa Neyhouse had a pair of hits for Belmont Abbey. Annabeth Watkins (1-4) took the loss in relief for the Crusaders. She gave up three runs on six hits over five and two-thirds innings.

Tucker homered to lead off game two and Preston Ellenberg (3-1) hurled a complete game for the sweep. She allowed just four hits and one run, which came on a homer in the seventh. Ellenberg walked two and fanned seven. Dean, Kayla Pedersen and Taylor Martin had two hits.

Catawba got a big insurance run in the seventh. Pederson singled with one out and Shaffner, who was pinch running, went to third on a passed ball. She scored on a sacrifice fly by Nicole Hunter for a 2-0 edge. Sydney Fields homered for Belmont Abbey to open the seventh, but Ellenberg sat down the next three to nail down the win.

Catawba travels to Newberry on Saturday to open its conference slate with a doubleheader at 2 p.m.

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