Friday, March 21, 2014

Mount Olive, N.C.—The North Greenville softball team remained at the top of the league on Friday afternoon, splitting a double-header with the University of Mount Olive. The Crusaders dropped a 12 inning, 3-2 decision to the Trojans in game one, but bounced back for a 3-1 win in the nightcap.


 Rachel Glazebrook went the distance for the Crusaders in game one, taking the loss while delivering just under 200 pitches during the dramatic 12 inning contest. Glazebrook faced 48 batters in game one, striking out 14 and allowing just seven hits. All of Mount Olive’s runs were unearned as NGU committed three errors during the first game of the weekend.

Trojans found the scoreboard early on in the contest, taking a 1-0 lead in first inning following a scoreless top of the frame from NGU. UMO delivered one hit in the frame, and picked up an RBI on a bases loaded hit-by-pitch which scored the lone run. Glazebrook was able to limit the damage however, as the Trojans would go on to leave the bases loaded.

North Greenville would find the scoreboard eventually in the fourth inning when Glazebrook would help her own cause roping an RBI double into left field, scoring Shayna Finley while evening the tally at 1-1. Jordan Farmer would also deliver a hit in the inning, but NGU would strand two runners as the Trojans wiggled off the hook, limiting the NGU scoring chances.
North Greenville earned its first lead of the game in the sixth inning, thanks again to Glazebrook who’s second RBI of the game gave NGU a 2-1 lead. A simple groundout to second allowed for Sarah Armstrong to score after leading off the inning with a double. Glazebrook finished game one 1-4 at the dish with two RBI.

UMO answered right back in the bottom half of the sixth however, picking up consecutive hits with two outs, and eventually tying the game at 2-2 after an error and a wild pitch. A runless seventh inning would send the game into extras, as the two teams continued to battle. The offenses would sputter in extras, as a combined 12 runners were left stranded. NGU’s best chance to take the lead came in the top of the 11th, when the Crusaders loaded the bases with two outs, but North Greenville failed to scratch a run across. The Trojans also failed to score in the inning sending the game into the 12th.

The 12th would belong to the home standing Trojans. NGU once again failed to scratch a run in the visiting half of the frame, giving UMO a chance to win the game in the bottom half of the frame. The Trojans would do so with an RBI single with one out, earning them their first conference win of the season while simultaneously handing NGU its first league loss of the season.

The Crusaders scored two runs on seven hits, during the game one loss, lead by Shayna Finley who was 2-4 with a run scored. Sarah Armstrong was 1-5 with a run scored, while Jordan Farmer, Cassi Carpenter, and Meagan Johnson also delivered a base knock.

North Greenville moved on to game two looking to keep pace in the race for first place, but the offenses for both teams continued to sputter for the first few innings. The Crusaders and Trojans combined for just three base runners in the opening few innings and just two hits. But North Greenville would finally break through in the fourth inning.

North Greenville would break out of the slump scoring three runs on three hits, while also using two Mount Olive miscues to take a 3-0 advantage. Two of NGU’s three runs in the inning were unearned, but Sarah Armstrong delivered for NGU to add the third run, as her single up the middle scored Tori Freedman who reached earlier in the inning on a free pass.

The Crusaders would hold onto the lead the entire game, but not without some drama. The Trojans would place runners on base in each of the final three innings, including the fifth when they managed to cut the North Greenville lead to just two runs. Once again aided by errors and just one hit, the Trojans scored their first run of the game on a sacrifice fly. The damage could have been worse, but NGU managed to throw out a runner at home.

The Trojans would threaten again in the sixth and seventh innings, but NGU starter Cassi Carpenter was able to work around the trouble, leaving three UMO runners stranded in the two final innings. Carpenter pitched all seven innings for North Greenville, working around six hits and three North Greenville errors. Carpenter struck out three batters, while walking just two. Her one run was unearned.

Offensively, NGU was able to muster just five hits. Rachel Glazebrook was 2-2 from her designated hitter spot, while Armstrong delivered NGU’s only RBI and was 1-4. Megan Johnson was 1-4 with a run scored while Christie Reilly delivered a 1-3 day. NGU improved to 17-8 overall and 5-1 in league play after Friday’s games. The Crusaders will continue their North Carolina road trip on Saturday when they travel to Wilson, North Carolina to take on Barton College.