JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (7-3) makes the three-hour trek over to Belmont, N.C. seeking to extend a win streak over Belmont Abbey (5-5) out to 16 games. The No. 20 Eagles and Crusaders collide at 1 p.m. in a doubleheader at Crusader Field Tuesday afternoon.
Carson-Newman enters the twin bill, the 29th all-time meeting between the Eagles and Crusaders, winners of 14 consecutive over Belmont Abbey.
Belmont Abbey is the only team to give up 20+ runs on two occasions to C-N. The 28 runs C-N scored on the Crusaders in the first meeting between the two teams in 1996 are the second most all-time the Eagles have scored.
Since losing to Belmont Abbey 4-3 in the second game of a 2006 doubleheader, the Eagles have outscored BAC 118-23 on a 14- game win streak.
However, head softball coach Vickee Kazee-Hollifield knows that past performance doesn't predicate current results.
"Belmont Abbey has a good hitting team," head softball coach Vickee Kazee-Hollifield said. "We know we're going to have to go over there in pitch well and defend well again. However, it sure makes life easier when we're able to knock runs across the plate like we were against Augusta.
The Crusaders are led at the plate by freshman infielder Elena Duran. Duran has a .389 batting average and gets on base 50 percent of the time she comes up. Duran has walked a team-leading four times.
Peyton Wilson has the most potent stick in the order in terms of run production. Wilson is only hitting .241, but has driven in eight runs.
Belmont Abbey has split two SAC doubleheaders. The Crusaders beat Catawba 4-3 before losing 3-2. They lost to Queens 5-4 before coming back for a 3-2 win in the nightcap.
The Crusaders have a three-person bullpen to rely upon in the circle.
Annabeth Watkins has the top ERA at 1.81. She is 2-3 on the year through 27 innings pitched. She's only walked seven, but also only struck out seven.
Ivorie Maltby and Chace Helms provide plenty of depth with 2.68 and 3.44 ERAs, respectively. Helms if the top strikeout artists on the staff with 13 punchouts in 20.1 innings pitched. She's 2-1 on the year.
Carson-Newman has split its first two road doubleheaders this season. The Eagles haven't swept a road doubleheader since April 14, 2017 at Wingate. The Eagles won that day 3-2 and 7-4 \
Last year, Carson-Newman withstood a late rally from the Crusaders to sweep a doubleheader at Mossy Creek. Carson-Newman won game one 6-2 before the Crusader put together a six-run seventh in the nightcap before falling 7-6.
Carson-Newman struggled to get baserunners in against BAC, leaving 19 stranded through the doubleheader including 12 in game two.
First pitch from Crusader Field is set for 1 p.m. Follow @cnathletics on Twitter for live coverage of the games.