DUNCAN, S.C. – The Converse College (3-43, 1-15 CC) softball team picked up its first conference win of the season, splitting a doubleheader with Belmont Abbey (15-31, 8-10 CC) on Friday afternoon at Tyger River Park and the Stadium. After dropping the first game 4-0, Converse came back in the nightcap to earn the split with a 4-1 victory.
GAME ONE: CONVERSE 0, BELMONT ABBEY 4
The Crusaders struck for one run in the top of the first, but Marissa Steadman controlled the damage and kept the Valkyries in the game. After loading the bases, Belmont Abbey looked poised to blow the contest open in the initial inning. However, a single run is all it could muster.
Innings two and three were very quiet as the two teams combined for just four base runners. Unfortunately, BAC was able to add to its lead in the fourth with a pair of runs after Duran and Benavides tallied RBI hits each.
Converse threatened to cut into the Crusader lead in the bottom of the fourth after putting runners on first and second with one out, but a twin-killing retired the side and kept the Valkyries off the scoreboard.
Belmont Abbey tacked on one more run in the top of the seventh and held on for the 4-0 win. A trio of Valkyries tallied one hit each to lead the way.
GAME TWO: CONVERSE 4, BELMONT ABBEY 1
Runs were at a premium in the early stages of game one as each team struggled to find any offense over the first three innings. However, that changed in Converse's favor in the bottom of the fourth as it took its first lead of the doubleheader after plating a run on a pair of hits.
Following a groundout, Steadman singled before stealing second to put herself in scoring position with one out. The Crusaders were able to knot the game at 1-1 in the top of the sixth after Pegram singled up the middle and allowed Embler to score, but Jianna Pellegrino held BAC in check and sent the ball game into the bottom of the sixth.
The bottom of the sixth proved to be very productive for the Valkryies. After the first batter was retired Moriah Gomez struck out swinging, but advanced to first on a wild pitch. Jena Massing moved her to third with a single up the middle before Steadman laid down a beautiful squeeze bunt to plate Gomez. After a groundout Mackenzie Wenz doubled down the left field line, allowing Massing and Steadman to score.
Pellegrino finished off her masterpiece in the top of the seventh, retiring the Crusaders in order to help lead Converse to a 4-1 win.
Converse will be back in action on Sunday, April 15 as they travel outside of conference to Wingate, N.C. to face the Bulldogs. Game one is scheduled for 1 p.m.