BELMONT, N.C. - Annabeth Watkins and Ivorie Maltby earned complete-game victories and Cameron Cooper's first career home run was a grand slam, highlighting Belmont Abbey's sweep of Limestone in Conference Carolinas softball action on Saturday. The Crusaders won the first game 3-2 before rallying for a 6-3 win in the nightcap.
With the wins, The Abbey improves to 15-17 overall and 5-7 in league play, while Limestone falls to 13-17, 3-7.
- Payton Whitley went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two driven in. Her first-inning home run put the Crusaders up 2-0 early.
- Six other Crusaders had a hit, including Morgan Smith, whose RBI double in the sixth was the eventual game-winner. She plated Whitley who started the rally with a two-out single.
- Limestone plated single runs in the second, cutting the lead to 2-1, and in the seventh to make the score 3-2, but left the tying run at second base.
- Watkins pitched a complete game, striking out three and scattering 10 hits. She did not walk a batter.
- Caroline Ruth (8-6) took the loss for Limestone, striking out five.
- Six different players recorded hits in the contest.
- Cooper, starting because of an injury in the opener, provided the bulk of the offense, with a blast just inside the left-field foul pole. She entered the contest with two career hits, including a double, and one RBI.
- Minona Hardin also registered an RBI with a single.
- Limestone opened the scoring with a two-run home run in the fourth. In the bottom of the frame, the Crusaders sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring six runs on five hits. Whitley started with a single before a flyout for the first out. Katie Allison doubled, before Hardin put the Crusaders on the board with a single up the middle. Hailey Gass had an infield single to load the bases, setting up Cooper's shot.
- A walk followed by a groundout, wild pitch and error brought the sixth run home.
- The Saints added a run in the fifth, but could not get any other offense going.
- Maltby walked two and struck out two, while allowing eight hits. She improved to 5-7 with the win.
- Shannon Sullivan took the complete-game loss to fall to 4-9. She walked four and struck out one, but also hit a two-run homer at the plate.
- Belmont Abbey plays its next six games on the road, including a conference road trip to King and Lees-McRae next weekend.