Belmont, NC- The matchup between last year's regular season CVAC champs and the tournament champions was everything advertised, as Coker and Belmont Abbey split a doubleheader Sunday, with the Crusaders (19-23-1 overall, 9-5 CVAC) taking game one 2-1 and the Cobras (17-15, 6-4) winning the nightcap 4-1.
Game one was a pitcher's battle between Belmont Abbey's Shallyn Duffy and Coker's Somer Bigham. Both offenses were held scoreless until the fifth, when Kimberly Atkinson of Coker led off with a single, and would score two outs later on a Crusader error, giving the Cobras a 1-0 lead. In the bottom half of the inning, Leigh Carter led off with a walk, which was followed by a double from Amy Sturch. After Bigham retired the next two batters, Cameron Greene ripped a two-run double scoring both Sturch and Carter, and Belmont Abbey led 2-1. Coker put runners on in both the sixth and seventh, but Duffy held the Cobras at bay to earn the victory.
Game two also began as a pitcher's duel between Greene and Amanda Shelton, who both put up zeroes through three innings. In the bottom of the fourth Belmont Abbey got on the board as Abby Threatt led off with a double, stole third, then scored on an error. Coker answered in the top of the fifth when, after Christan Morabito singled and Jessica Blackwell drove her in with a double, Eunice Nettles hit a two-run home run to give Coker a 3-1 lead. The Cobras tacked on an insurance run in the seventh, then Shelton stranded two runners in the seventh, striking out the final two batters to earn the win.