BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell's softball team (15-15) finished the Camel Stampede with a flourish in taking games from Drexel (9-11) and North Carolina Central (1-26) on the final day of the tournament on Saturday, March 17, at the Eakes Athletic Complex. CU defeated Drexel 6-1 in the first game of the day and held off North Carolina Central for a 5-2 victory in the second game. The Camels ended up with a 3-1 record in the tournament, but held the run differential in the head to head meetings with Drexel to earn the tournament title.
Sophomore Olivia Scarborough (1-0) went the distance and only allowed three hits and one run in her first start of the season in the victory over Drexel. Drexel's Shelby Taylor (4-5) was tagged with six runs in 5.2 innings to take the loss. Julia Callicutt (5-3) earned the victory in the second game against the Eagles. She went the first four innings and only surrendered one unearned run with four strikeouts. Senior Christina Melton was called upon and threw the final three innings in relief to pick up her first save of the season. Bianka Molina (1-14) took the loss and surrendered five runs in the six innings for the Eagles.
The game against Drexel was a scoreless contest until freshman Stephanie Jones launched a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning. The home run was her third of the season.
The Dragons tied the game up with a run in the sixth inning. Devon Metcalf began the frame with a single. A sacrifice bunt moved her to second. After a strike out, Paige Collings brought Metcalf home with the tying run.
The CU offense promptly exploded for five runs in the bottom of the frame. Freshman Ericka Nesbitt doubled to center and Jones walked to get the offense in motion. Senior Taylor McGee then homered to deep left field to plate three. The home run was her sixth of the season. Freshman Kailey Farmer kept it going with a single to center. Sophomore Jessi Lane was inserted to run for Farmer and moved to second on Erica Johnson's single. Scarborough then doubled off the base of the wall in right to score Lane and Johnson.
The Eagles scored first in the second game. Nadia Jefferies reached and moved to second on a throwing error from the CU second baseman. Jefferies stole third and came in to score the game's first run on Sarah Kaiser's double to left.
The Camels kept the offense going with five runs in bottom of the opening inning against NCCU. Junior Sarah Forgacs led off the game with a double to left. Nesbitt singled to center to move Forgacs to third. A walk to Jones loaded the bases. Sophomore Raven Lee drove in the first run with her walk. McGee drove in the second with a single to center. Johnson then walked to drive in the third. Callicutt drove in the fourth with a sacrifice fly to right field. Freshman Kerstine Womack made it five in the first with her single to right to score McGee.
CU pitching staff kept the score at 5-1 until the seventh inning when Jefferies singled to short and took second on a throwing error from the CU. Kaiser was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. A sacrifice fly from Andrea Searls plated Jefferies with the team's second and final run of the game.
CU opens Big South Conference play with a single game against Winthrop on Thursday, March 22, starting at 6 p.m.
Camel Stampede All-Tournament Team
Cember Carmichael – N.C. Central
Comfort Ahonkhai – Drexel
Devon Metcalf – Drexel
Hannah Parrish – Drexel
Paige Collings – Drexel – Co-MOP
Ericka Nesbitt – Campbell – Co-MOP
Kailey Farmer – Campbell
Taylor McGee – Campbell
Brittany Arnn – Campbell
Olivia Scarborough - Campbell