Score: Western Carolina 6, North Carolina Central 3, Western Carolina 3, NC Central 2
Records: Western Carolina 4-3, North Carolina Central 2-9
Location: Thomas Brooks Park, Cary, N.C.
CARY, N.C. – After a nine-day break, Western Carolina softball returned to the diamond on Tuesday to earn a 6-3, 3-2 sweep of North Carolina Central at Thomas Brooks Park.
Western Carolina 6, North Carolina Central 3
Western Carolina exploded for four runs, in the top of the sixth inning, to overcome a 3-2 deficit and hold on for the win 6-3.
How it Happened
- After three scoreless innings, Western Carolina lit up the scoreboard first with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. The runs were all courtesy of junior Erica Hayes’ bat as she hit a two-RBI single up the middle scoring Bailey Huneycutt and Myra Twitty. Huneycutt reached on a walk and Twitty hit a double to lead to the scores.
- North Carolina Central quickly took the lead scoring three runs in the bottom of the fourth courtesy of a pair of homeruns. A solo homer and a two-run home run earned the Eagles a 3-2 lead.
- Western Carolina retook the lead in a big way in the bottom of the sixth inning. Two Eagles’ errors allowed Hunter Gibbons and Huneycutt to reach base. With one out, Hayes was at it again this time with a two-RBI double scoring Gibbons and Huneycutt. Hayes scored thanks to an RBI double by Madison Armstrong. The scoring concluded for the Catamounts when Ashlyn Long hit an RBI groundout to plate Armstrong.
Inside the Box Score
- Western Carolina just edged North Carolina Central in hitting eight to seven.
- The Eagles had two errors while the Catamounts committed one.
- Western Carolina had four extra-base hits in the game, all of them doubles.
- Hayes was 2-for-3 in the game with four RBI.
- Junior hurler Kinsey Liscio picked up her second victory of the season, improving to 2-0 on the year, tossing a complete game. She gave up seven hits, one earned a run and struck out four. She only faced 11 batters after giving up the second home run in the bottom of the fourth.
Western Carolina 3, North Carolina Central 2
Western Carolina scored lone runs in the second fourth and sixth. The insurance run would turn out to be in the sixth courtesy Hayes’ second RBI of the game – sacrifice fly RBI.
How it Happened
- Hayes earned her fifth RBI of the doubleheader giving Western Carolina an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Freshman Gracen Watts led off the inning drawing a full count walk. Armstrong perfected a sacrifice bunt and Watts motored all the way to third on the play. Hayes scored Watts on a ground out to shortstop for the first run of the game.
- Watts and Armstrong were at it again in the fourth inning as Watts drew her second walk of the game with one out. Armstrong singled to right field pushing Watts to second. Hayes reached on a fielder’s choice that erased Watts at third but Armstrong advanced to second. Armstrong scored on a pinch-hit RBI single by Cheyenne Mathews.
- North Carolina Central cut the Catamount lead to one scoring a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. A hit by the Eagles Nadia Blevins started the scoring for NC Central and ended Catamount starting pitcher Kayla Brewer’s streak of eight straight batters sat down. Blevins scored on an RBI single.
- Western Carolina scored a run in the top of the sixth. Gibbons reached on a fielding error by the Eagles and Watts singled placing runners at first and second. Armstrong put down a sacrifice bunt to move Gibbons to third and Watts to second. Hayes earned her second RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to left field scoring Gibbons.
- North Carolina Central made the game interesting with a rally attempt in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Eagles led off the inning with a single by Tamiera Sanchez. She would cut the Catamount lead to one, 3-2 when Blevins hit an RBI triple scoring Sanchez and Blevins represented the tying run. The Eagles rally attempt was squelched when a fly out ended the inning.
Inside the Box Score
- Brewer tossed a complete game for the Catamounts allowing two runs on five hits, walked one and struck out five. She improves to 2-1 on the year.
- Each team had five hits in the game.
- There was a stretch in which Brewer sat down eight straight batters from the third to the fifth inning.
- Hayes had two RBI in the game.
News & Notes
- Hayes ended the doubleheader with a total of six RBI. She had four in game one and two in game two. She hit .400 in the pair of games with the Eagles and had a .600 slugging percentage.
- Western Carolina had a combined 13 hits in the pair of games with NC Central and four were doubles.
- With her double in game two, Armstrong now has 29 in her career tying her for fourth place in the WCU record books with former Catamount Taylor Sigmon.
- Western Carolina is now 7-0 against North Carolina Central all-time.
Western Carolina will compete in the I-75 Challenge this weekend facing Georgia State in a doubleheader Friday, Kennesaw State in a twin bill Saturday and a single game with Georgia Tech on Sunday.
For the latest information on Catamount softball, follow @catamounts and @wcusoftball on Twitter or go to www.catamountsports.com.