Trojans Sweep CrusadersFebruary 24, 2013
ANDERSON, S.C. – Using a stellar pitching performance from pitcher Bailey Smith and several strong efforts at the plate, the Anderson softball team swept Belmont Abbey, 2-0 and 15-7, in nonconference action Sunday afternoon at Smethers Field.
Anderson improved to 15-1 with its 10th consecutive win and improved to 5-1 at home, while Belmont Abbey fell to 1-9 with its seventh straight setback.
Anderson 2, Belmont Abbey 0
Sophomore Bri Cason was 1-for-2 in the opener, including a lead-off double in the decisive second inning, while reaching base three times and scoring once. Sophomore Jessica Neidigh added a pair of hits and also scored a run. Freshman Molly Child was 1-for-3 and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Smith (6-1) tossed a two-hitter for her seventh complete game and fifth shutout of the season. The right-hander struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Sophomore Nikki Faust (0-1) took the loss for Belmont Abbey, surrendering both runs off three hits over 3 2/3 innings. She struck out three and walked one.
The Trojans snapped a scoreless tie by plating the only runs of the contest in the third inning. Cason ripped the leadoff double to right-center and moved to third on Neidigh’s single through the right side. She crossed the plate when Belmont Abbey catcher Brook Baliles threw wide of shortstop Hannah Bright as she tried to cut off Baliles’ throw to second on Neidigh’s steal. Neidigh went to third as the ball rolled away and Molly Child then lifted a fly ball deep enough into center field to score Neidigh.
The Crusaders threaten in the top of the sixth after Carol-Anne Sherrill led off the inning with a double to the fence in right-center and moved to third on Bright’s sacrifice bunt to Cason. But Smith ended the threat by retiring the next two Belmont Abbey batters.
Anderson 15, Belmont Abbey 7 (5 innings)
Cason was a perfect 2-for-2 in the nightcap, with three RBI and scored once, while Neidigh posted three hits in four trips to the plate and scored three times, while driving in a pair of runs. Junior Danielle Swygert was 2-for-3, scored twice and drove in three runs. Junior catcher Laura Jansky added a pair of hits and a walk, while scoring twice and recording a pair of RBI. Junior hurler Lauren Bell helped her cause in the circle with a pair of singles and a walk, while also driving in a run. Shortstop Abby Child was 1-for-2 with a three-run home run in the first inning.
Bell (9-0) earned the win, while surrendering seven runs off eights over five innings. She struck out three and walked four.
Catelyn Pressley (0-3) absorbed the loss for the Crusaders after giving up eight earned runs, while striking out one and walking five in 2 1/3 innings.
The Trojans struck for four runs in the bottom of the first, with three coming on Abby Child’s fourth round-tripper of the season, a shot over the center-field wall that also plated Neidigh and Molly Child.
But Belmont Abbey answered with six in the top of the second frame, as Bell encountered control issues, walking two batters and also hitting a pair of Crusaders.
AU answered with a solo run in the bottom of the inning and added six runs in the third inning and four in the fourth, pushing out to a 15-6 lead.
The Crusaders tallied a solo run in the top of the fifth to set the final margin.
Anderson opens a seven-game road swing at South Carolina State on Tuesday. First-pitch versus the Bulldogs is scheduled for 1 p.m.