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Campbell sweeps Lancers; stops win streak at 11

Campbell’s pitching depth was on full display again, as No. 2 starter Georgeanna Barefoot and reliever Kayla Howald teamed up to stymie Longwood’s bats and lift the Fighting Camels to a 6-1 win in the Big South series finale Saturday afternoon at Lancer Field.

After cruising through five scoreless frames in a 9-0 game-two win Friday night, Barefoot (6-4) took the mound again in the Saturday, April 3 finale and held the Lancers (15-16, 6-3 Big South) to one run on four hits in her five-plus innings of work. Howald bailed her out of a jam in the bottom of the sixth, entering the game with the bases loaded and no outs and sitting down all three Lancers she faced to end the inning without allowing a single run.

Howald stuck around to throw a scoreless seventh inning and earn her first career save while locking up a fifth consecutive win for the Fighting Camels (12-10, 5-1 Big South).

The win capped a weekend sweep for Campbell, which put an abrupt stop to Longwood’s 11-game winning streak that was the third longest of the program’s Division I era. The losses were also the Lancers’ first at home this season after opening the year 5-0 at Lancer Field.

“We definitely came out in a better position today than we did yesterday and had a better mindset and approach, but as I told them after the game, we’re at another crossroads to our season,” first-year Longwood head coach Dr. Megan Brown said.

“We have things to work on in every area of our game. We can quit and take the excuses and say it was just a bad weekend, or we can come in and go to work on Monday. I asked them what they wanted to do, and they said come in and go to work on Monday. It’s part of life. Some days it’s tough, some days it’s great.”

The three-game series against Campbell made for two rare tough days for the Lancers, who entered the weekend winners of 11 straight games and four consecutive series since embarking on that tear nearly four weeks ago on March 10. During that span, the Lancers had outscored opponents by more than four runs per game and hit .318 as a team, but Campbell shut down that high-powered attack behind Barefoot and Howald Saturday, and Barefoot and ace Megan Richards Saturday.

Sydney Backstrom (11-8), threw all seven innings and scattered five hits in her Big South-leading 13th complete game of the season. Longwood›s All-Big South right-hander and reigning Big South Pitcher of the Week surrendered five of her six runs on those three swings to take only her second loss in her past 10 decisions.

The long ball propped up Campbell’s offense all weekend long, with the Fighting Camels blasting five homers in the three-game set. Fredenhall had two of those, while 11 of Campbell’s 18 runs all came off homers.

The Lancers will now return to non-conference play for the first time in more than two weeks with a doubleheader at No. 19 Virginia Tech looming Wednesday.