Central, S.C. – North Greenville softball inched closer to locking up one of the top seeds in the Conference Carolinas playoffs on Thursday with a 7-0/6-1 sweep of Southern Wesleyan University.
The Crusaders jumped on the Warriors early in game one, scoring five runs in the first three innings. North Greenville scratched two runs in the opening frame with another three coming across in the third. Kate Lee brought in two of the third inning runs with a 2-RBI double while Kaitlyn Wagers singled in Lee to extend the lead to 5-0.
NGU added some insurance in the fifth inning as two more runs came across to score. Celsea Rivers singled in Lee for her only RBI of the game while a second would cross after a wild pitch, scoring Wagers from third.
NGU also got a gutsy performance from starter Amanda Croffin who turned in a solid six-inning performance. Croffin struck out four in the two hit shutout as she improved to 16-8 as a starter. Emily Murphy wrapped up the seventh for NGU, sitting down the Warriors in order.
Kate Lee led the Crusaders with three RBI on two doubles in game one while Wagers was 2-2 with a pair of RBI. Celsea Rivers also had a hit and an RBI for North Greenville in game one.
North Greenville scored first in the second game of the league double-header, scoring a solo run in each of the third and fourth innings to lead 2-0. Southern Wesleyan was finally able to break through in the fifth inning, scoring the first run of the day on an RBI single, cutting North Greenville’s lead in half.
The Crusaders clung to the one run lead, leaning on another solid pitching performance, this time from Brooklyn Fort. Fort pitched a complete game and struck out five Warriors allowing just one run on three hits. The win improved Fort to 13-6 as a starter, the same night she was named Female Freshman of the Year at the Cruzies, NGU’s athletic awards ceremony hosted by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
NGU gave Fort some insurance to work with in the seventh inning, breaking out to score four runs on four hits. A Grace DeBoer double would bring home two while Megan Johnson also delivered two RBI with a single to center field that brought around DeBoer and Heather Wade, making the score 6-1.
DeBoer was 2-3 with three RBI in game one while Megan Johnson finished 2-3 with a pair of runs batted in. Christie Reilly was 3-3 with a run scored.
North Greenville improved to 29-17 overall with the wins over SWU and 15-5 in Conference Carolinas play. The Crusaders will now HOST Lees-McRae College on Saturday afternoon, a game that was originally scheduled to be played on the road. First pitch is scheduled for 1pm.