Tigerville, S.C.- North Greenville softball cruised to a pair of victories over Converse College on Wednesday afternoon, earning wins of 5-0 and 7-0 over the Valkyries to improve to 9-3 in Conference Carolinas play and 23-15 overall.
North Greenville scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning to gain a 2-0 edge over Converse, a program that is in its second season of competitive NCAA competition. A Kate Lee sacrifice to center field and a sacrifice bunt from Kaitlyn Wagers were the early difference makers as Morgan Herlong and Shayna Finley came around to score.
The Valkyries would load the bases in the visitors half of the next frame. Brooklyn Fort turned in her best effort of the day, picking up two quick outs including a strikeout to wiggle out of the jam unscathed. Fort earned the complete game shutout, allowing just four hits to go along with six punch-outs.
The Crusaders stranded runners in the third and fourth innings but finally broke through again in the sixth inning adding three insurance runs. Wagers would homer to score herself and Kate Lee while Christie Reilly singled in Celsea Rivers to extend the lead to five runs.
The Valkyries were once again held in check in the seventh as Fort allowed one runner on a hit by pitch. The defense would put the clamps on a comeback effort, collecting three ground ball outs to end the game.
Wagers led the charge with three RBI with a homer and a sacrifice bunt. Kate Lee was 2-1 with a RBI and a run scored. Celsea Rivers and Shayna Finley were also 1-2 with a run scored while Herlong also scored a run.
Wagers got things going in game two, powering a Converse pitch into center field for a RBI double, giving the Crusaders a 1-0 lead. Wagers finished the day with 4-RBI and two base hits, both of which were for extra bases.
North Greenville opened it up in the fourth inning, pouring on three runs on three hits. Chelsea Rivers delivered NGU’s second RBI double of the game to score Morgan Herlong while Brooke Wade singled in Rivers in the next at-bat to extend the lead to 3-0. The final dagger of the fourth inning came in the form of a triple from Megan Johnson, scoring Wade and extending the lead to four runs.
Wade delivered her second RBI hit of the day in the bottom of the sixth inning with a single up the middle that scratched across Samantha Anthony to make it 5-0 in favor of the Crusaders. Johnson added her second RBI of the nightcap with a sacrifice fly that brought across Haley Gray. NGU’s final run of the evening came from Christie Reilly who crossed home on a RBI single from Emily Murphy.
The Crusaders gave starter Amanda Croffin plenty of run support, but the Mauldin, South Carolina only needed one run. Croffin turned in a gem throwing seven innings allowing just one hit with three strikeouts.
North Greenville had 10-hits in game two, powered by Brook Wade and Megan Johnson who both had two each with a pair of RBI and runs scored. Celsea Rivers, Emily Murphy, and Kaitlyn Wagers also had a hit and a RBI.
The Crusaders will have to days to collect themselves before traveling to Bristol, Tennessee to take on King University at 1 and 3 pm.