NASVILLE, Tenn. -- Belmont Softball opened its final home weekend of the 2021 campaign with a doubleheader sweep on Saturday afternoon. The Bruins picked up a win in six innings, 10-2, before taking the nightcap, 5-1.
In game one, the Golden Eagles notched the first run of the contest in the top of the third frame but BU came storming back in the bottom of the following inning. Sophomores Kailey Brown (San Antonio, Texas) and Abi Ledbetter (Livingston, Tenn.) logged back-to-back singles to get things rolling. Junior Audrey Lyle (Westlake, Ohio) singled to send one over the plate before senior Elison Ollinger (Robins, Iowa) used a sac fly to help Belmont take the lead, 2-1, and start a two-out rally.
Freshman Kaley Varner (Cumming, Ga.) drove a single down the left line, starting the run merry-go-round. Seniors Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) and Georgia McKee (Frisco, Texas) knocked back-to-back singles to keep it going. Senior Cheyenne Cavanaugh (Spring, Texas) dropped a perfectly placed bunt to add another run. Belmont had batted through the lineup so Brown returned to the plate and hit a single down the left line to net the home team's sixth run of half inning.
TTU looked to begin chipping away at the Belmont lead with a solo homerun in the top of the fifth but it would be their final time the visitors would score a run. In the Bruins' half of the same frame, sophomore Lauren Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) and Lyle knocked back-to-back singles and were moved into scoring position with a wild pitch. Belmont added one more run and inched closer to picking up the win by run rule. BU did not have to wait long. After a silent half of the sixth inning for TTU, the Bruins exploded once again. Cavanaugh recorded her fifth triple of the season and was quickly sent over home plate. Brown, who had reached first base with four balls, was sent home with the help of a double by Lauren Veltri. Rookie Savannah Halterman (Nashville, Tenn.) came in to pinch run and quickly stole third to set up the Bruins for the win. Lyle delivered in her at bat, sending her single down the right line to send the gamewinning run over the plate and handing BU the 10-2 win.
In the second game, Belmont's momentum did not wane. The Bruins netted a run in the bottom of the both the first and third innings and did not look back. Tennessee Tech could not overcome the home team's defense and was unable to get a runner home. The Golden Eagles had a chance in the top of the fourth but Belmont pushed back and made plays at the plate to stop them from scoring.
In the following inning, the Bruins surged once again, adding three more runs to go up 5-0. TTU was finally able to score in the top of the seventh but it was too little too late as Belmont held on for the win.
For the day, Cavanaugh led BU at the plate, batting .667 with four runs, a triple and a homerun. Lyle and Brown each batted .600.
Belmont returns to action on Sunday at E.S. Rose Park for the team's final home game of the season. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. The contest can be seen live on ESPN+ and the ESPN app and live stats will be available. Fans may follow the team's Twitter account (@BelmontSoftball) for live, in-game updates.