GREENWOOD – The Lander softball team earned a non-conference split with North Greenville on Wednesday at Doug Spears Field, defeating the Crusaders 9-0 in five innings and falling 4-3 in eight innings.
After a scoreless opening three innings in game one, Lander (6-3) exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the fourth. Kelli McCormack drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a Chandler Carey single. Delaney Guerrero loaded the bases as all three runners moved up safely on a fielder's choice. Ashley Vinson put Lander on the board with a two-run single up the middle and Haven Pesce followed by laying down a bunt that scored Guerrero.
With two outs in the frame, Sydney Grimes cleared the bases with a two-run single into right field. Grimes moved into scoring position on a wild pitch and scored on a Brianna Surrento single to make the score 6-0. McCormack blasted a two-run double off the left field wall to put the Bearcats up 8-0 and scored on a Crusader error to give Lander a 9-0 advantage. In all, the Bearcats sent 14 batters to the plate in the inning and score six of their nine runs with two outs.
Vinson (3-1) kept the Crusaders off the board, limiting NGU to just four hits with one strikeout and no walks. Jaelin Griffin (2-2) allowed nine runs on six hits with three strikeouts and four walks to take the loss for North Greenville
The Crusaders (3-4) built a 3-0 lead in game two and held the Bearcats to just two hits through the first six innings. Kasey Rogers and Grimes drew walks and with two outs, Leah Higginboth came off the bench to blast a three-run homer, her first carer hit, to tie the game.
North Greenville pushed across the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth on an RBI single from Sam Lightkicker.
Abby Killian (3-1) suffered her first loss of the season, alllowing four runs on 10 hits with eight strikeouts and one walk in 8.0 innings. NGU's Callie Richards (1-2) allowed three runs on three hits with five walks and seven strikeouts to pick up the win.
Lander hosts the Bearcat/Fleet Invitational this weekend at Doug Spears Field.