Hartsville, S.C. – Shayna Finley blasted two homeruns including a two run blast in game one while Grace DeBoer also added a homer in a 5-2/2-3 non-conference split with Coker College.
GAME ONE: NGU – 5 COKER – 2
The Crusaders had just four hits through six innings in game one. The Cobras took advantage, scoring a pair of runs in the fourth inning to take what seemed to be a solid two run lead. North Greenville threatened in the sixth inning but left a runner on base as the game headed to the seventh.
NGU’s bats came alive in the seventh inning. Kate Lee would spark a rally with her second base hit of the game, later coming around to score on a Haley Gray RBI ground-out to cut the Coker led to one run. Gray’s grounder would also advance Christie Reilly to third base. Reilly entered the game as a pinch runner for Morgan Roach who reached base on a Cobra error.
Celsea Rivers would also single during the frame to set the table for Heather Wade who flied out to center field, scoring Reilly to even the score at 2-2. Wade’s sacrifice fly evened the score but put up two outs on the board as the Cobras tried to wiggle out of further damage. Shayna Finley made sure NGU put another dent in the score though, smashing a two run homer to right field, earning the Crusaders a 4-2 advantage.
Megan Johnson would add to the NGU lead a few batters later with a double to left field that score Grace DeBoer who reached on a walk the prior at bat, giving the Crusaders a 5-2 lead heading into the final half inning.
Coker came out swinging in the bottom of the seventh inning, pounding out consecutive singles after Brooklyn Fort induced two groundouts to start the frame. Fort worked around the Cobras scoring threat though, using a third ground out to end the game.
Shayna Finley led NGU with a pair of RBI while going 2-4 in the game one win. Kate Lee was also 2-3 with a run scored. Celsea Rivers and Grace DeBoer were 1-3 with a run scored. Fort earned the win for NGU in the circle, allowing two runs on six hits while punching out five. Fort is now 8-7 on the year as a starter.
GAME TWO NGU – 2 COKER – 3
Game two, as neither pitcher would give any ground. The Crusaders had just two hits while the Cobras mustered just one hit and a walk. North Greenville finished the second game with just four hits while the Cobras had just three with three free passes.
North Greenville’s bats snapped out of the brief slump in the sixth inning when Shayna Finley blaster her second homer of the day, a solo shot to left center field that made the score 1-0. The lead was extended to two runs on the very next batter as Grace DeBoer went yard as well.
The Cobras answered with a run of their own in the home half of the sixth inning to cut the NGU lead to one run. North Greenville was one strike away from taking the double-header sweep in the bottom of the seventh but a two out double scored the game tying run, sending it into extra innings after a hit by pitch put the equalizer on base.
The Crusaders had their chances in the top of the eighth with a runner on third base with no outs, but the Cobras worked around the possible go ahead run, coaxing a pop out and a strikeout to end the frame. The Cobras then earned the win with a game winning double on the first at bat of the eighth inning to split with NGU.
The Crusaders had four players with a hit in Thursday’s nightcap including Finley and DeBoer. Megan Johnson and Kate Lee also delivered a base knock. Amanda Croffin took the loss in the circle, pitching eight innings and giving up three runs on three hits. Croffin finished the game with 12 punch-outs.
The Crusaders will be back in action on Saturday afternoon when they take on Wingate University in a non-conference double-header starting at 1pm in Wingate, North Carolina.