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April 17, 2024 4:56 am

UMO softball splits doubleheader versus Belmont Abbey

MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive softball team claimed a doubleheader split versus Belmont Abbey on Friday afternoon in Conference Carolinas play, registering a 5-2 victory in game one before suffering an 8-4 loss in game two.

With the split, the Trojans sit at 12-10 this season with a 1-1 mark in conference action. The sides have split during the regular season over the last two years while UMO holds a 7-1 record in the series at home dating back to 2015. Meanwhile, the Crusaders stand at 6-12 overall with a 1-1 mark in league play.

In game one, Mount Olive established an early 2-0 advantage after placing runners on the corners with one out to begin the frame. The following at-bat, junior Ashlyn Porter laced a single to left-center field to take a 1-0 lead before the Trojans pulled off a double-steal to score junior Cana Shrock from third for a 2-0 lead. After a scoreless second, UMO started the third inning with a leadoff bunt single by junior Courtlynn Cooney, who then stole second. Sophomore Alyssa Smothers would draw a walk before Shrock blasted a three-run homer to left field, her league-leading 11th of the year, to stretch the lead to 5-0.

The Crusaders would score in the sixth and seventh frames off solo homers, but UMO sealed the league opening game, 5-2.

Shrock finished 2 for 2 with a homer, three RBI, two runs scored, one walk, and a stolen base. Cooney went 2 for 3 with one run scored and two stolen bases.

Junior Hannah Killough improved to 7-3 following the complete-game win on Friday afternoon. She yielded two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and just one walk in seven innings of work. Killough retired the side in order twice and produced double-digit flyouts.

In game two, the Crusaders jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the first with an RBI single to right-center field. Belmont Abbey brought across two more runs to take a 3-0 advantage following the fourth before UMO cut into the deficit in the bottom half. Smothers led off the frame with a single to left field before a two-run homer by Porter closed the gap to 3-2.

After a scoreless fifth, the Crusaders scored three runs on four hits, including a leadoff solo homer, to take a 6-2 lead. Mount Olive trimmed the deficit on an RBI single by Shrock in the bottom of the sixth, but Belmont Abbey answered back with a two-run double to center field to lead 8-3. In the bottom of the seventh, Cooney registered an RBI on a fielder’s choice, but the Crusaders would secure the 8-4 win to split the doubleheader.

Senior Lauren King suffered the loss (2-3) after yielding one run on two hits with four walks and one strikeout in 1 2/3 innings pitched.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics