Updated: Apr 22
Riding a nine-game winning streak into the beginning of the week, the Belmont softball team took to the diamond Tuesday afternoon for a doubleheader against Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee State University at E.S. Rose Park.
Winning their first contest after five innings with a 10-2 score, the Bruins became the fourth team in program history to win 10 games in a row — the longest streak since 1995.
The Bruins continued their red-hot momentum into game two, shutting out the Tigers and extending their win streak to 11, breaking the program record.
“I really like how we are playing right now. We are finding lots of different ways to win, and it’s great to get off to a good start in conference play,” said head coach Laura Matthews.
“We have a long way to go and a lot of very good OVC teams still to play, but I’m proud of where we are right now,” she said.
Junior infielder Kristen Green homered in both games and hit 3-6 total, recording six RBIs to assist in Belmont’s dominance.
Other offensive standouts included senior outfielder Cheyenne Cavanaugh, who hit 5-7 overall with two RBIs, and senior catcher Audrey Lyle who homered and batted 2-2 in game one.
Pitching complete games, sophomore Emma Summers and senior Alicia Veltri both brought power to the circle, holding the Tigers to just two runs on the day.
Game No. 1
Taking to the circle in game one was Summers. She found herself in trouble early in the first, giving up an RBI double to TSU’s Anayah Brown to put the Tigers on the board 0-1.
The Bruins responded in the bottom of the inning, however, with four hits and two runs, claiming the lead.
Freshman infielder Emily Cockrill got the bats rolling in the bottom of the second with a single up the middle.
From there, Lyle came up to bat and delivered a two-run home run over the left-center fence, adding to the lead.
Scoring slowed in the third but picked back up in the fourth as TSU’s Maggie Klug delivered an RBI double, driving in Alyssia Drayton to make the score 4-2.
The Bruins didn’t back down, adding four more runs to the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning.
After a fielder’s-choice that ultimately scored a runner, Green sent a hard-hit homer over the right-field fence, increasing Belmont’s lead to six.
The Tigers were held scoreless in the top of the fifth as the Bruins found home twice in the bottom of the inning.
Belmont won the five-inning matchup 10-2.
Summers struck out two batters and allowed just two runs in her five innings, boosting her season record to 7-2.
Game No. 2
Both sides were held scoreless in the first inning but Belmont’s bats began cooking in the second — Green sent the ball over the fence for her second time of the day to put the Bruins on the board 1-0.
Three more Belmont runs were scored in the first thanks to smart base running from freshman outfielder Indy Cockrill and RBI singles from Cavanaugh and sophomore infielder Kaley Varner.
Following some defensive action, both sides were held scoreless in the third and fourth.
Belmont added to its lead in the bottom of the fifth after a double from Cavanaugh and an RBI double from freshman outfielder Baie Ensio.
From there, junior infielder Abi Ledbetter came up to the plate to drive in Ensio with an RBI double.
Varner doubled to center field in the sixth, driving in Emily Cockrill to add to Belmont’s lead.
The Tigers were unable to come back in the seventh, securing the 7-0 win for the Bruins.
In the circle, Veltri pitched one of her best games of the season, striking out three and allowing no runs in her seven innings. Varner hit 2-3 with two RBIs and one run as Ledbetter hit 2-3 with one RBI.
After a historic win, the Bruins hope to continue their win streak against OVC opponent University of Tennessee Martin in a three-game series Saturday and Sunday.
Belmont now stands with an 8-0 record in conference play and an overall record of 17-7.
This article was written by A.J. Wuest
PHOTO A.J. Wuest/Belmont Vision Junior infielder Kristen Green covers first base in Belmont’s doubleheader on Tuesday.