Seniors Lead Crusaders to Sweep of Montreat

Seniors Lead Crusaders to Sweep of Montreat

BELMONT, N.C. -- Eleven different players contributed to a 25-hit attack over both ends of a doubleheader, lifting Belmont Abbey to a sweep of Montreat on Senior Day. The Crusaders won the opener 10-2 in five innings, then took the nightcap 12-6.

Chace Helms and Alyssa Scaiudone each tallied four hits on the day, while Melissa Neyhouse, Vienna Benavides and Alexis Pereiro added three hits apiece.

Belmont Abbey (18-32) opened the scoring in the first when Sciaudone belted a two-run home run to left field, plating Anna Mixa, who tripled. The Crusaders added five more in the second, capitalizing on three Montreat errors and three hits. Shannon Hill drove in a run, while a bad throw on a groundout allowed another run to score. A second error brought in two more before a wild pitch capped the scoring.

After Montreat got on the board in the third, The Abbey added two more runs in the bottom of the frame. Pereiro tripled home Alex Busch, who led off with a single, then scored on a wild pitch.

The Cavaliers prolonged the game with an unearned run in the top of the fifth, but the Crusaders were able to counter in the bottom of the fifth to walk off with the victory. Pereiro reached second on a one-out error, then moved up 90 feet on a single by Benavides. She scored from third on a groundout to right field.

Pereiro, Sciaudone and Benavides each had two hits in the contest.


Senior Alyssa Buell (1-0) earned the win in her first career start. She surrendered eight hits and two unearned runs over 4.1 innings before giving way to the bullpen. Abby Swilley (2-7) took the loss for Montreat.

In the nightcap, Montreat (16-32) struck first when two Cavaliers crossed the plate on a throwing error. But the lead did not last long as the Abbey tallied four in the second and five in the third for a 9-2 lead. Sciaudone led off the second with a single, then came home on the first of four hits by Helms in the contest, a double down the right field line. Two batters later, Melissa Neyhouse single up the middle to bring home Helms from third. After the second out of the inning was recorded. Pegram drove home two more runs on a single through the right side.

Mixa doubled to left to start the rally in the third. Sciaudone singled to left before Helms delivered an RBI double to left. Pereiro followed with an RBI single for a 6-2 lead, before a single by Lauren Clifford squirted through the fielder's legs and rolled to the wall, allowing all three runners to come around.

A sacrifice fly in the fourth made the score 10-2, but Montreat was again able to prolong the game, tallying three runs in the fifth. 

Belmont Abbey plated two insurance runs in the fifth, one on a sacrifice fly by Morgan Smith and the second on an RBI single by Helms.

Annabeth Watkins (8-13) earned the win in relief, allowing a pair of hits in an inning of work. Starter Allison Moody (4-7) gave up 17 hits and 12 runs (11 earned) in taking the loss.

Belmont Abbey honored 11 seniors before the game, all of whom made contributions during the doubleheader.

The Crusaders open Conference Carolinas Tournament play on Friday as the No. 6 seed. They will face No. 3 North Greenville at 11 a.m. in Burlington, N.C.