Feb. 23, 2014
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -Western Carolina softball (3-6) took both games in the final day of action at the Spartan Classic, hosted by USC Upstate, defeating Liberty 4-2 and Winthrop (3-10) 4-1 Sunday at Cyrrill Stadium.
Western Carolina 4, Liberty 2
Western Carolina used a three run fifth inning to secure the 4-2 win over Liberty. The Catamounts got five of its seven hits, in the game, in that big fifth inning. Sophomore pitcher Mallory Broometossed her first complete game of the young season and picked up the win over the Flames. She improves to 1-3 on the season.
The Catamounts also got its first homerun on the year thanks to a lead-off long ball by sophomore Taylor Sigmon. The homerun by Sigmon was in answer to Liberty's run in the bottom of the fourth inning when Sammi Shivock scored thanks to an RBI single by Kelby Allen.
Sigmon's lead-off homerun spurred the three run fifth inning for WCU. After Sigmon tied the game at one, freshman Courtney Buchanan drew a one out walk and moved to second when Courtney Price singled through the right side. Brooke Coggins' single to center field loaded the bases for the Catamounts. Amelia Griffin's single to left field notched her an RBI and scored Buchanan. With two outs, Karley Harkeysingled up the middle scoring Price.
After a scoreless inning by both teams in the sixth inning, Western Carolina added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, a fortuitous run indeed. Price drew a walk and advanced to second when Coggins was hit by a pitch. Liberty caught a break when Griffin hit into a double play for the first two outs of the seventh. When Price reached third on a passed ball, she scored off an RBI single by Whitney Haywood. The Bottom of the seventh inning is when things got interesting for both teams.
Liberty attempted a come-back when Broome got into a jam. Holly Seiz was hit by a pitch and Kassidy McCoy doubled to put runners on second and third. A fielder's choice allowed Grace Nordan to reach first and the Flames had bases loaded with no outs. Liberty got one run on the board on a fielder's choice that allowed Seiz to score and the runner was out at third base. A fly out and a ground out ended the inning and the game.
Broome allowed two runs on five hits and struck out six batters. Price went 2-for-2 and scored two runs.
Western Carolina 4, Winthrop 1
The Catamounts used a pair of runs in the fourth and two more in the sixth to secure the win against Winthrop. Western Carolina also benefitted from a strong pitching performance by junior Jordan Garrettwho allowed just one run on six hits and fanned seven batters.
Scoreless through the first three innings, Western Carolina got on the board in the top of the fourth inning. Kara Salvo reached on a Winthrop error to lead off the inning. After two quick outs by the Eagles, Buchanan hit a two out RBI single to score Salvo for the first run of the game. Brooke Cogginsfollowed with a single to right center that scored Buchanan.
Western Carolina posted two more runs in the top of the sixth. Sigmon hit a one out single through the left side and moved to second on sacrifice bunt by Amber Kimrey. Buchanan picked up her second RBI of the game when she singled to center field to score Sigmon. Coggins single down the left line plated Buchanan for the second run of the inning.
Winthrop scratched out a run in the bottom of the sixth inning ruining Garrett's shutout attempt. Garrett came back in the bottom of the seventh and sat Winthrop down in order, including back-to-back strikeouts to start the inning, to take any chance of a comeback out of the Eagles' hands.
Buchanan, Coggins and Price each had a pair of hits in the game. Garrett improves to 1-3 on the year.
Western Carolina travels to South Carolina on Tuesday for a doubleheader with the Gamecocks beginning at 3 p.m. The game will be the first featured on the Catamount Sports Network with the audio being streamed on catamountsports.com and Kyle Rush doing play-by-play.