Feb. 14, 2014
Feb. 14, 2014
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. - Western Carolina softball (0-2) dropped both of its games to open the 2014 season at the College of Charleston Classic Friday. The Catamounts were shutout by host College of Charleston 4-0 and edged by DePaul 7-5 at Patriots Point.
The Catamounts played a strong game in both contest but showed true heart against DePaul. The Catamounts battled back from being down 7-0 to scoring five unanswered runs and sophomore Taylor Sigmon holding the Blue Demons scoreless the final two innings make the game interesting down the stretch.
College of Charleston 4, Western Carolina 0
Western Carolina and College of Charleston were in a battle early with the game scoreless through the first four innings.
The Catamounts had one of its best scoring chances squelched in the top of the second inning. Junior catcher Heather Chastain drew a lead-off walk but was erased at second on a fielder's choice that put Kara Salvo on first. Thanks to a Cougar error and another fielder's choice, Salvo moved all the way to third with two outs but was stranded when senior Makenzi McAteer struck out.
College of Charleston threatened in the bottom of the second inning when Amber Mueller reached base on a throwing error and used the miscue to scramble all the way to third and head home. The greedy decision by Mueller to attempt home was her down fall as the solid through from right field by Amelia Griffin to home, and the waiting glove of Chastain, earned Mueller a trip back on the bench - she was out.
The Mueller scoring attempt seemed to only be a reprieve as College of Charleston found home base in the bottom of the fifth. The Cougars scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and secured the win.
Junior pitcher Jordan Garrett, for the Catamounts, tossed 4.2 innings. She got into a jam in the fifth inning and was replaced by freshman Courtney Buchanan who inherited one base runner, and four runs scored. After Buchanan gave up a walk she bounced back to strike out the second batter she faced to end the inning.
Buchanan ended the game going 1.1 innings. Garrett took the loss, falling to 0-1, giving up four runs, three earned, walking one, and striking out five. Garrett's five strikeouts put her even closer to the Catamount career strikeout record - she now needs eight to break the record as she currently has 375.
It was sophomore short stop Karley Harkey who got the first hit of the game, and the first for Western Carolina in 2014, in the third inning. Chastain led the Catamounts with two hits.
DePaul 7, Western Carolina 5
DePaul struck early and often early in the game against Western Carolina helping DePaul squeeze out the 7-5 win. Mallory Broome got the start on the mound for Western Carolina going two innings and giving up five runs.
Broome was replaced by Buchanan in the bottom of the third after Broome walked the first two batters and gave up an RBI double. DePaul scored three more runs in the inning, one credited to Buchanan.
DePaul added one more run in the bottom of the fourth and lead 7-0. The Catamounts were in danger of having the game cut short, thanks to the International tie-breaker rule that ends the game if one team leads the other by eight runs after five innings. Western Carolina would have none of that as the Catamounts scored two runs, the first runs of the infant season, in the top of the fifth.
Sophomore Amber Kimrey got the fifth inning started when she drew a walk and stole second. Strikeouts by McAteer and Courtney Price put the Catamounts in the hole with two outs and Kimrey at second. Griffin kept the inning alive when she singled to left field and Kimrey motored to third. Griffin then stole her first base of the 2014 season and WCU had runners at second and third. Harkey came up and delivered smoking a double to right field scooping up two RBI plating Kimrey and Griffin.
DePaul was held scoreless in an inning for the first time in the game in the bottom of the fifth. Buchanan was pulled for sophomore Taylor Sigmon who retired the side with a pair of strikeouts and a fly out.
Western Carolina tacked on two runs in the top of the sixth. Chastain singled to left field to open the inning. Whitney Haywood pinch ran for Chastain and moved to third base when Brooke Coggins reached first on a DePaul error. Kimrey, who started the scoring in the fifth inning, was at it again when she ground out the pitcher but picked up an RBI scoring Haywood. After McAteer was hit by a pitch, WCU had runners at first and third with one out. The Catamounts scratched out its second run of the inning when Price singled past the shortstop scoring Coggins for an RBI. The inning continued when Griffin drew a walk to load the bases with one out. DePaul caught a break when Harkey struck out and Salvo ground out to end the inning.
Sigmon held the Blue Demons scoreless for the second straight inning when DePaul failed to score in the bottom of the sixth. Sigmon got a strikeout, gave up a hit and forced a pair of ground outs in the inning.
Western Carolina kept plugging away getting its third straight lead-off batter on base when Sigmon reached first on a muffed throw by the DePaul first baseman, Nicole Pihl. After Chastain struck out for the first out of the innings, Coggins reached first on a DePaul error moving Sigmon to second. Kimrey struck out for the second out. McAteer knocked an RBI single past third base scoring Sigmon and keeping the inning alive. With McAteer at first and Coggins at third Price struck out to end the Catamount threat and the game.
Broome took the loss in the game and falls to 0-1. Chastain led the team going 2-for-4 in the game. Harkey had two RBI in the contest.
Western Carolina begins day two action at the College of Charleston Classic on Saturday when the Catamounts face Kansas at 9 a.m. WCU closes out day two action at 6 p.m. when it plays Ole Miss.