CRUSADERS ELIMINATED FROM CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
Saturday, April 26, 2014
CRUSADERS ELIMINATED FROM CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT

 Burlington, N.C.—The North Greenville softball season came to an end on Friday after/night, as the Crusaders dropped its two first round games 3-0 to Pfeiffer, and 4-3 to Lees-McRae. 

GAME ONE VS. PFEIFFER

Both pitchers, Rachel Glazebrook for North Greenville (27-14) and Pfeiffer’s Jarmusch sat down the opposition in order in the first inning. Jarmusch was the first pitcher to run into trouble as North Greenville’s Morgan Roach registered the game’s first hit in the second inning. However, she used a double play to escape any damage.

The Crusaders threatened again in the third, but Jarmusch was again up to the task, stranding runners on second and third to keep the game scoreless. The Pfeiffer offense would get their pitcher some runs in the fourth, taking a 2-0 lead with the help of two North Greenville Throwing errors. North Greenville threatened again in the bottom half of the inning as they loaded the bases with two outs, but Jarmush induced a popout to end the threat and keep the Falcons in the lead.

Pfeiffer extend their lead in the sixth when Celia Dew ripped her third home run of the season, a solo shot over the left field fence. The Falcons were looking for more runs in the frame as Rachel Crowder loaded the bases with a one-out single up the middle. However, Glazebrook got a strikeout and a groundout back to the circle to end the threat and keep the Crusader deficit at 3-0.

Jarmusch worked out of a jam again in the sixth, stranding a pair of walks on base to keep Pfeiffer in the lead. In the seventh, Emily Workman started the inning with a single and moved to third base later in the inning, but she was stranded there. Sarah Armstrong started the bottom of the seventh inning for North Greenville with a single, but Jarmusch got three straight outs to earn the complete game victory.

Jarmusch allowed only four hits, and earned her eighth win of the season to lead the Falcons. Pfeiffer had seven players each record a hit, with the top three batters in their lineup accounting for all three runs.

Four separate Crusaders registered hits, and Glazebrook allowed three runs, one earned on seventh hits. She struck out 11 in the loss.

GAME TWO VS. LEES-McRAE 

The Crusaders looked to scave off an early day one elimination Friday night, taking on the Bobcats of Lees-McRae after a lengthy weather delay, as the first pitch, originally scheduled for 3pm was not thrown until 8:30. 

North Greenville once again fell behind, but this time early, as Lees-McRae plated two runs in the opening frame. The Bobcats took advantage of a pair of walks, an NGU error, and an illegal pitch. Both of the runs were unearned, the third and fourth unearned runs for NGU opponents on the day. 

The Crusaders floundered on their best chance to score, early in the game, after leaving two runners stranded in the second inning. Carpenter and Farmer both reached base with no outs, but Lees-McRae starter Celeste Sheppard worked out of the jam, retiring the next three batters. NGU would finally scratch a run across in the third inning. Megan Johnson, who led the inning off with a single, would come around to score on a Bobcat throwing error, cutting the LMC lead to 2-1. 

Lees-McRae extended its lead to 4-1 with a two run fifth inning, making the NGU comeback a little more difficult. A two RBI double from Sadie Lagel would do the damage with one out in the inning. Glazebrook would escape without any further damage however, stranding Lagle at second. North Greenville would strand more runners in the fifth and sixth innings, leaving the Crusaders with just three outs to make a comeback. 

The seventh inning started with a  strikeout for North Greenville, but Sarah Armstrong would add NGU’s second run of the game with her first homerun of the season, which cut the LMC lead to just 4-2. North Greenville would then load the bases with a  Glazebrook walk, a Morgan Roach Single, and fielding error from LMC that put Cassi Carpenter on first. Jordan Farmer would then come through for NGU with an RBI single, plating pinch runner Jordan Willingham, cutting the lead to 4-3 with one out. Bobcat Pitching would then clamp down, picking up two consecutive outs, ending the threat, while sending NGU packing. 

The Crusaders struggled on Friday with runners in scoring position, stranding 21 total runners, including 10 in game one, and 11 in game two. Sarah Armstrong and Jordan Farmer led the way offensive in game two, both going 3-3 with an RBI. Megan Johnson was 2-4 from the plate with a run scored. 

The Crusaders finish the season with an overall record of 27-16, and a conference mark of 11-5. Friday’s early elimination is the quickest exit for North Greenville in three years of Conference Carolinas play, after advancing to the championship series in each of the first two season.