Softball Splits First Two Games At Camel Stampede

Ericka Nesbitt (photo by Bennett Scarborough)
Ericka Nesbitt (photo by Bennett Scarborough)

BUIES CREEK, N.C.  – After defeating N.C. Central (1-24) by a 7-2 score in the first game, Campbell's softball team (13-15) wasted a 6-2 sixth inning lead in falling to Drexel (8-10) by a 9-6 score in the second game on the first day of the Hampton Inn/Camel Stampede on Friday, March 16.

Junior Brittany Arnn earned the victory (6-6) in the team's win over N.C. Central. She threw a complete game, allowed four hits, two runs (one earned) and fanned five. The loss was taken by the Eagles Aurora Baker (0-10), who allowed seven runs (five earned) in six innings. Christina Melton (3-6) took the loss in the second game for Campbell in allowed three runs in her 1.1 innings in relief. The win was earned by Drexel's Hillary Allen (4-5). Allen threw 165 pitches in throwing a complete game. She allowed six runs and walked six, but also struck out seven and held the Campbell offense scoreless in the last three innings to allow her team to overcome the deficit.

The first game saw Campbell's offense score two in the first inning. Junior Sarah Forgacs was hit by a pitch. A double from freshman Ericka Nesbitt moved her all the way to third. After a strikeout, sophomore Raven Lee walked ahead of senior Taylor McGee's fielder's choice ground out. The second Campbell run scampered in as the ball was thrown away by the Eagles second baseman to allow Nesbitt to score.

The Campbell offense scored their last five runs in the third inning. Forgacs started the inning with a single. Nesbitt followed with an infield single. Freshman Stephanie Jones was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A sacrifice fly from McGee drove in Forgacs from third. Freshman Kailey Farmer doubled in Nesbitt and Jones with her shot in the gap. Sophomore Katie Andrew followed with a double of her own to plate Farmer. Andrew would score the fifth run of the inning on a fielding error from the NCCU shortstop.

Arnn flirted with a no-hitter and didn't allow her first hit until Cember Carmichael homered to left to start the seventh inning. After the next two were retired, Regina Diaz singled to left. Nadia Jefferies moved her along with a bunt single. Martha Batie also bunted for a hit to load the bases. Diaz would score the second run on a fielding error form the CU pitcher.

In the second game the Camels exploded for four runs in the first inning. Nesbitt reached on a one-out single. She stole second and scored on Jones' double to center. Lee then walked to put two aboard. Freshman Camise Patterson was inserted to run for Lee and stole second as Jones was thrown out attempt to take third. McGee then walked and both Patterson and McGee scored on Farmer's three-run home run.

Drexel answered with a run in the third inning. Comfort Ahonkhai walked and then stole second. She went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Devon Metcalf's bunt single.

The Camels added two runs to the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Nesbitt reached on lead-off bunt single. A ground out moved her to third. Lee doubled Nesbitt home with her ball in the left center gap. Lee moved to third on a ground out. Farmer then walked to put runners on the corner. Farmer then stole second as Lee raced home to give the Camels a 6-1 lead.

Drexel would begin their comeback with a run in the fifth inning on a Campbell throwing error.

The Dragons tied the game by grinding out four two-out runs in the sixth inning. Sylvia Llames and Ahonkhia reached on one-out walks. A fly out to center kept both at their base. Metcalf loaded the bases with an infield single. Paige Collings singled to second to drive in both Llames and Ahonkhai and make it a 6-4 game. Jenn Reading pushed a single to center to plate Metcalf and move Collings to third. Collings raced in with the tying run on a wild pitch from freshman starter Julia Callicutt.

Drexel completed the comeback with three runs in the seventh inning, Caprice DeMirjian started the inning with her single to center. She was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. A wild pitch moved her to third. Ahonkhai then drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Ahonkhai promptly stole second. A double to left from Hannah Parrish scored DeMirjian and Ahonkhai. Collings drove in the final run of the game with her two-out single up the middle to score Parris from second.

CU will complete play in the Camel Stampede with games against Drexel and North Carolina Central on March 17 starting at 1:30 p.m.