Feb. 12, 2012
PANTHERVILLE, Ga. - Western Carolina softball (2-2) placed third at the Georgia State First Pitch Classic Sunday, falling 7-5 to the host Panthers before bouncing back to defeat ETSU (0-4) 11-10 in extra innings.
After dropping a close game to host Georgia State, 7-5, the Catamounts moved into bracket play to face ETSU for the second time in the tournament. Western Carolina defeated ETSU the day before 5-4.
Just like all weekend, Western Carolina battled. The Catamounts scored in seven of the nine innings played, going into extra innings for the first time in the infancy of the season.
Amber Steinhardt got the start on the mound for Western Carolina, holding ETSU scoreless for two innings. This allowed the Catamounts to build a quick 4-0 lead.
The Catamounts trailed 8-6 in the bottom of the fourth inning, after ETSU exploded for six runs in the top of the fourth. Steinhardt was replaced by Katie King, who went 0.2 innings in the fourth before being replaced by freshman Jordan Garrett.
Shemekia Scotton's first homerun of the season, a solo shot to left field, pulled Western Carolina within one run, 8-7, at the end of the fourth. Garrett held ETSU in the top of the fifth allowing Western Carolina to battle back in the bottom of the fifth.
Freshman catcher Heather Chastain's double, with one out, set up the tying score for the Catamounts. After Megan Taylor pinch ran for Chastain, she scored when junior Jordan Fulton hit an RBI double to tie the game at eight.
This is when things got interesting. Both teams buckled down on the scoring, holding each respective club to zero runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
Starting in the eighth inning, the international tie-breaker rules were put into effect. An ETSU runner was placed on second to start the eighth inning. The Buccaneers capitalized with a pair of runs to reclaim the lead, 10-8.
Western Carolina proved it would not go quietly. Griffin was placed on second, and with one out, she motored to third on a wild pitch. Erin Foster's RBI single to left field platted Griffin. A wild pitch and a passed ball, by ETSU, allowed Foster to move to third and set up the tying run. Taylor grounded out to second base, but it was just hit hard enough to send Foster home to tie the game at 10.
After Garrett held ETSU scoreless in the ninth, she would take the win in the game and move to 2-2 on the season, Western Carolina had a chance to end the game and take the win. The Catamounts got a little help in that department from the Buccaneers, as after McAteer was placed on second and moved to third on a sacrifice from Megan Crowe, an error by the Buccaneers allowed McAteer to score and end the game.
Fulton, who had struggled in the games on Saturday at the plate, led the Catamounts against ETSU with three hits, an RBI and two stolen bases.
Georgia State 7, Western Carolina 5
Western Carolina had its chances in the game against the host team Georgia State. The Catamounts used the word of the weekend, battle.
King got the start in the game for the Catamounts and went five innings, allowing four runs, two earned, on six hits and struck out three. King held the Panthers scoreless in the first inning before giving up a run at the top of the second inning.
Western Carolina tied the game in the bottom of the third. Crowe recorded the first triple of her career and scored when Fulton hit an RBI single up the middle.
The Catamounts had a huge fourth inning, scoring four runs, to take their first lead of the game. A single by Scotton and Kelly Braman reaching on an error set up a huge three-run bomb by Foster, hitting her first homerun of the year, over the right field wall. After Crowe singled, she made her way around the bases and stole home for the Catamounts' fourth run of the inning.
A homerun by Georgia State in the fifth inning cut the Catamounts' lead to 5-2. It was the Panthers' five-run sixth inning that was the catalyst for Georgia State's win, as the Catamounts' were held scoreless in the final two frames of the game.
Fulton and Crowe had a pair of hits in the game. Six of the nine starting batters for Western Carolina got at least one hit in the game.
Western Carolina returns to action on Friday, February 17, in Tallahassee, Florida at a tournament hosted by Florida State.