Score: Western Carolina 6, Georgia State 3 (Gm1); Western Carolina 5, Georgia State 4 (Gm2)
Records: Western Carolina 6-3, Georgia State 1-15
Location: Heck Complex, Decatur, Ga.
DECATUR, Ga. – Senior centerfielder Hunter Gibbons broke the school record for home runs in a career with 30 in Western Carolina softball’s 6-3 game one victory over Georgia State. In the nightcap, the Catamounts rallied in the seventh inning to take game two 5-4, completing the sweep of the Panthers Friday in day one of the I-75 Challenge.
Western Carolina 6, Georgia State 3
How it Happened
- Western Carolina took the early lead scoring a run in the top of the first. Back-to-back singles by Long and Shaina Reed put runners on first and second and a perfectly played sacrificed bunt by freshman Bailey Huneycutt allowed Long to motor around and score.
- Georgia State tied the game answering with a run in the bottom of the first.
- Madison Armstrong’s leadoff single in the second set up the second Catamount run when she scored thanks to an RBI groundout by Lindsay Perrillo.
- The Catamounts plated two more runs in the third off the bat of Erica Hayes who hit a two-run home run.
- The Panthers pulled within one scoring two runs in the bottom of the third to trail 4-3.
- Gibbons pushed WCU back up by two runs with her towering home run to centerfield.
- Long added an insurance home run in the top of the seventh.
Inside the Box Score
- Western Carolina hit three home runs in the game.
- The Catamounts had nine hits in the game.
- Junior hurler Kinsey Liscio improved to 3-0 on the season tossing her second-straight complete game against the Panthers. She gave up three runs on seven hits and struck out two.
- Gibbons was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI.
- Hayes ended the game with two RBI.
Western Carolina 5, Georgia State 4
With Western Carolina trailing 4-1 in the top of the seventh, the Catamounts rallied for four runs to take the first lead of the game 5-4. WCU sat Georgia State down in order in the bottom of the seventh to hold onto the win.
How it Happened
- Georgia State scored a pair of runs in the second inning and two in the third.
- Western Carolina pushed a run across in the top of the fourth inning when Gibbons drew a walk and scored when Armstrong hit an RBI double.
- Western Carolina’s rally was successful in the top of the seventh as the Catamounts plated four runs to tie the game at 5-4. A lead-off single by Kailey McNeil started a Catamount rally attempt in the top of the seventh. With one out, Long tripled to right field plating McNeil to cut the Panther lead in half, 4-2. The heart of the Catamount line-up seemed paid off for WCU as Reed followed with an RBI single scoring Long to pull within one run of Georgia State, 4-3. After Reed moved to second on a wild pitch, the Panthers wanted nothing of Gibbons and walked her to put the go-ahead run on first. Freshman Myra Twitty hit into a fielder’s choice erasing Gibbons at first, but the Catamounts still had runners on first and third on and two outs. Hayes reached on a Panther error allowing Reed to score on the miscue. Armstrong hit a clutch RBI double scoring Gibbons to complete the scoring for the Catamounts.
Inside the Box Score
- Sophomore Kayla Brewer started the game and was replaced by Kylie Shay in the second inning, she was replaced by Reed with one out in the second.
- Reed closed out the game tossing 4.2 innings scoreless innings allowing three hits and striking out five. Her performance earned Reed her first win of the season improving to 1-2 on the year.
- Armstrong was 3-for-4 in the game, including the game-winning RBI, and also added a double.
- Long had a pair of hits with a run scored and a triple.
News & Notes
- Gibbons now owns the Western Carolina softball career home run record with 30. She is also now two away from the RBI record in a career with 105, behind Taylor Sigmon who holds the record with 106.
- Armstrong moves into fourth place in the Catamount record books for doubles in a career with 31 after hitting a pair in the doubleheader. She needs seven doubles this season to take over first place.
- Liscio holds the best record in the Catamount pitching staff with a 3-0 start – the best start for the junior in her career.
- Hayes had a total of three RBI in the doubleheader with the Panthers pushing her total for the week to nine after posting six in the doubleheader sweep of North Carolina Central on Feb. 26.
- With the sweep of Georgia State, Western Carolina is on a four-game winning streak.
Western Carolina continues to play in the I-75 Challenge moving over to Kennesaw State for a doubleheader Saturday with first pitch set for 2 p.m.
For the latest information on Catamount softball, follow @catamounts and @wcusoftball on Twitter or go to www.catamountsports.com.