Saturday, March 22, 2014
Wilson, N.C.—The North Greenville softball team wrapped up a tough two day road trip on Saturday, splitting a conference double header with Barton College winning game one 6-4 in 12 innings, followed by a 2-1 loss in game two. 

North Greenville struggled offensively in game one, and trailed for much of the game, after the Bulldogs earned a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a solo homerun from Betsy Braswell. The Crusaders were able to muster just six hits during regulation play, stranding 10 runners in the process. Barton pitching struck out just two batters, while walking five. 

The Crusaders managed to tie the game in their last at bats of game one, taking advantage of shotty Bulldog defense. NGU did its damage with two outs, when an errant throw from a Barton infielder ricocheted off of Shayna Finley’s helmet into left field, scoring Finley from third base. The error occurred on a batted ball from Jordan Farmer who reached on a fielder’s choice. The Crusaders still stranded two runners in the inning however, resulting in sending the game into extras after the Bulldogs were unable to score in the bottom half of the seventh. 

The offense picked up slightly in inning 10-12 after both squads failed to plate a run in innings eight and nine. North Greenville drew first blood in the tenth inning as Rachel Glazebrook registered the first RBI for the Crusaders as Sarah Armstrong scored on a groundball to second base. Ironically, the Bulldogs would tie the score at 2-2 in the bottom half of the inning in the same fashion, as a ground ball to short stop scored the tying run. 

The Crusaders and Bulldogs would trade runs again in the 11th inning, as NGU took advantage of a Barton Wild Pitch, while the Bulldogs added a third run on an RBI single. The Bulldogs looked poised to end the game in the 11th, but starter Rachel Glazebrook, who pitched 12 innings for the second straight day, worked around a jam forcing a pop fly out in fly territory and a ground ball to first base. 

North Greenville would follow up the 11th with the highest run total of the game in the 12th. The Crusaders strung together a couple hits, in what would be the final inning of the game, to take a 6-3 lead. Christie Reilly was responsible for the go ahead run as she scored on a wild pitch from third after advancing on a sac bunt from Sarah Armstrong. Glazebrook would then add her second and third RBI’s of the game, also handing NGU what would be two much needed insurance runs, with a two run blast to right field, scoring Shayna Finley who reached previously on a single to center field. The outburst gave NGU a 6-3 lead. 

Barton would score a single run in the bottom half of the inning with the help of a North Greenville error, the Crusaders fourth of the game, but would fall short, of the needed six to force a 13th extra, or seven to win as Glazebrook recovered from the error to retire the side. Glazebrook finished the game with just six strikeouts, but allowed just one earned run of the Bulldog’s four. The Bulldogs were just 4-25 with runners on base. 

Offensively, Glazebrook led the way as well, registering all three of NGU’s RBIs. She was 2-5 with a homer. Shayna Finley was 2-5 with two runs scored and Morgan Roach was 3-4.  
Game two would prove a pitcher’s duel, much like the Saturday opener. The Crusaders scratched the first run of the game across in the second inning on an RBI single off the bat of Cassi Carpenter, plating Tori Freedman to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead. 

North Greenville’s lead was short lived however, as the Bulldogs answered with two runs of their own in the home half of the second. A bases loaded single with two outs would prove to be the difference in the game. Barton loaded the bases with no outs to open the frame, but NGU looked to work out of the jam, posting consecutive ground ball outs at home plate. The Bulldogs scored the two runs on four hits. 

North Greenville’s best chance to even the score came in the fourth inning. The Crusaders loaded the bases with a pair of singles from Tori Freedman and Sarah Armstrong, and a two out walk from Megan Steading, but were unable to capitalize. A flyout to left field resulted in the innings third out, ending NGU’s threat to tie or go ahead. 

The Crusaders would manage just one more hit in the final three innings of play, as Barton Pitching once again kept NGU off balance. NGU was 3-9 with runners on base, but 0-1 with the bases loaded. Cassi Carpenter took the mound for NGU, and was solid for the entire contest. Carpenter gave up two earned runs on eight hits, while striking out four. 

NGU was 7-28 at the plate as a team, two of those hits coming from Freedman who was 2-3 with a run scored. Megan Steading gave NGU its only RBI of the game, and was 1-2 from the plate. Morgan Roach, Glazebrook, and Armstrong also added a hit each. The Crusaders will return to the diamond on March 24th when they travel to Gaffney, South Carolina to take on Limestone College.