Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tigerville, S.C.—The North Greenville softball team kept itself in the Conference Carolinas regular season title race on Saturday after sweeping Belmont Abbey 3-2 and 7-0.

The Crusaders needed extra innings to secure the game one win after Belmont Abbey, also adopting the Crusader mascot evened the tally at 2-2 in the fifth inning on a North Greenville defensive miscue. Abbey earned the first lead in the game however in the third inning after a solo homerun from Shanie McConnell gave Abbey a 1-0 advantage.

North Greenville quickly evened the score and took its first lead in back to back at bats in the home half of the third. Rachel Glazebrook and Morgan Roach would hand NGU a 2-1 advantage with back to back homeruns. Belmont Abbey got right back into the action in the fifth inning, as an arrant throw to third base would lead to the tying run, as a 2-2 tie carried the game into first inning of extra softball.

Belmont Abbey looked to strike first in the top half of the eighth, placing runners on the corners with no outs. Starter Rachel Glazebrook would work around the jam however, retiring three straight on to foul outs and line out to left field, stranding the two BAC runners. NGU would have the same opportunity in the bottom of the eighth, and would capitalize on an Abbey error. With runners on first and third, the Crusaders from North Carolina looked to load the bases in hopes turning a double play. Abbey would never have the chance however as a wild pitch would score the winning run from third, advancing Sarah Armstrong.

Rachel Glazebrook went the distance for the Crusaders, throwing all eight innings, and striking out 14. Glazebrook allowed two runs, on three hits, only one of which was earned. The Crusaders pounded out three hits during the first game, two of which were the homeruns from Glazebrook and Roach. Sarah Armstrong had the only other hit for North Greenville. Armstrong was 1-4 while Roach and Glazebrook were 1-3.

The Crusaders would waste no time earning the lead in the night cap. Heather Singleton’s first career homerun in the second frame of game two would give North Greenville an early 2-0 lead. North Greenville extended its lead in the fourth, scratching across four runs to take a 6-0 lead. After Cassi Carpenter gave the Crusaders a 3-0 lead, Shayna Finley would pile on two more runs with a two out RBI ground rule double. Finley would account for the fourth, scoring on a base hit from Christie Reilly.

The Crusaders added a final run in the fifth inning, capitalizing on a triple from starting pitcher Sarah Armstrong. Cassi Carpenter would get credit for the RBI with a two out single, giving NGU a 7-0 lead. Armstrong was as solid on the mound as she was in the batter’s box, pitching a complete game shutout of Belmont Abbey. She surrendered just four hits, and struck out four and allowed no walks.

North Greenville is now 23-12 overall and 9-5 in Conference Carolinas play. North Greenville holds the second spot in the league standings behind first place King University, with just one more conference series left, against Erskine on April 15th. The Crusaders will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Due West, South Carolina to take on future conference foe Southern Wesleyan University. First pitch is scheduled for 5pm.