Consecutive rbi-doubles by Jennifer Jones, Savannah Becker and Kalie Smith highlighted an eight-run third inning and Christie Wright tossed a four-hitter as Mount Olive defeated Belmont Abbey 12-4 in game one of a Conference Carolinas softball doubleheader Saturday at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field. Jones delivered the game-winning hit for the five-inning run-rule victory. The Trojans recorded a season-high seven stolen bases in the game.
The Trojans completed the sweep with a 4-0 win in game two as Carly White tossed a three-hitter for her third shutout of the season and sixth consecutive complete game victory. Tiffany Hawley drove in the first run of the game in the fifth inning and added an rbi-double in a three-run sixth inning. Mount Olive is 12-1 in its last 13 games.
Mount Olive (23-7 overall, 10-2 Conference Carolinas) spotted Belmont Abbey three unearned runs in the top of the first inning in the opening game before rallying to tie the game in the bottom of the first. Moore and Becker drove in runs with bloop singles to shallow left and Becker eventually scored the tying run on a passed ball.
Wright's rbi-single in the bottom of the third put Mount Olive on top for the first time and Lauren McGrath followed with a two-run double to extend the Trojans' lead to 6-3. McGrath scored on a passed ball, McDaniel singled and stole second and eventually scored on Moore's sacrifice fly to give Mount Olive an 8-3 lead. Jones, Becker and Smith then followed with back-to-back-to-back rbi-doubles to cap the inning and stretch Mount Olive's lead to 11-3.
Belmont Abbey (8-24, 1-9) kept the game alive in the top of the fifth as Nikki Faust and Amber Faust led off the inning with back-to-back doubles to make the score 11-4. But the Trojans regained the eight-run lead and clinched the run-rule win in the bottom of the fifth as Moore drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on Jones' single up the middle.
Wright (5-1) survived a disastrous first inning that saw Mount Olive commit two errors and Belmont Abbey send eight batters to the plate. Wright allowed only one hit in the inning, an rbi-single by No. 7 batter Kinsey McClure. Wright finished with a season-high seven strikeouts and held the Crusaders to the lone hit until the fourth inning, surviving a bases-loaded jam.
In the second game, White (10-2) retired 12 consecutive batters during one stretch starting in the second inning. She gave up a walk and a single in the sixth, but never allowed a runner past second base. White triggered a 1-6-3 double play in the first inning and catcher Kassie Lowe picked a runner off first in the second inning. She also benefited from a diving catch in foul territory by left fielder Savannah Westover in the third inning and a diving catch in right-center by centerfielder Becker.
Belmont Abbey pitcher Nikki Faust struck out the side in the bottom of the third and opened the fourth with a strikeout as she held the Trojans scoreless until the fifth inning. Jesse Crist led off the bottom of the fifth with a three-base error and came home on Hawley's rbi-single to give Mount Olive a 1-0 lead.
Beth Overman led off the sixth inning with her fourth triple of the season and scored on Moore's rbi-double. After Becker singled and went to second on the throw, Moore scored on a wild pitch to extend the Trojans' lead to 3-0. Hawley's fly ball to deep left landed just in front of the fence for a run-scoring double for the final run.
Saturday's contests began a stretch of six doubleheaders in a span of nine days for Mount Olive to finish the regular season. The Trojans travel to Tigerville, S.C., Monday for a Conference Carolinas doubleheader against North Greenville that had to be rescheduled from mid-March due to the weather. Game time is noon.
The Trojans will be at home Tuesday against UNC Pembroke in a recently added non-conference twinbill, then at home against Barton Thursday in a conference doubleheader that was rained out this past Thursday. Mount Olive concludes the regular season at Queens and Pfeiffer next weekend.