The Raven Softball team opened a four-game weekend in conference play at home on Saturday with a split over (RV) Evangel University.
Benedictine (10-7, 2-2 Heart) took the opener over Evangel (10-8, 4-2 Heart), 3-2, before the Crusaders salvaged a split with an 8-1 win in game two.
Nikki McNeil earned the start in game one inside the circle for the Ravens. She held the Crusaders to just two runs off seven hits over her seven innings of work to keep the Ravens within striking distance.
After Evangel's Michaela Tolliver held the Ravens to three hits over six innings of work, the Crusaders brought in Kyra Parker to close out the game. After an error on the first at-bat to McNeil, the Ravens mounted their comeback rally. Singles by Molly Chevalier and Alex Burris scored the Ravens first run of the game. Trailing 2-1, Courtney Parker came to the plate with runners on second and third. She doubled off Parker to score Chevalier and Burris and give the Ravens the walk-off win.
In addition to Parker's double, Chris Flucke also doubled for the Ravens.
In game two, the Crusaders struck first with a two-run first inning and then added six unanswered to earn the split.
Alex Gilham earned the start inside the circle for the Ravens. She threw all seven innings, giving up six earned runs off 10 hits as the Ravens committed three errors defensively.
Parker recovered from the rough finish the game one to earn the win for the Evangel in game two. She held the Ravens to just two hits over seven innings.
Burris recorded both hits for the Ravens as she went 2 for 2 while also scoring the lone run for Benedictine.
The Ravens hit the road on Sunday for a doubleheader against No. 20 Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo., at 1 p.m.