Feb. 25, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Western Carolina softball (3-8) dropped its doubleheader at South Carolina falling to the Gamecocks (13-2) 6-3, 5-0 Tuesday at CSS at Beckham Field.
South Carolina 6, Western Carolina 3
With Western Carolina hanging on to a tenuous 3-2 lead, in the bottom of the sixth inning, two crucial Catamount errors allowed South Carolina to load the bases. Ansely Ard led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. With one out, a routine pop-up was dropped in the infield allowing runners on first and second. A beautiful diving play by Catamount short-stop Karley Harkey stopped a run and her attempted throw-out at third was bobbled and the Gamecocks had bases loaded. Olivia Lawrence hit a grand-slam to give South Carolina its first lead of the game and secure the win.
Western Carolina jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Freshman catcher Kara Salvo hit the first homerun of her Catamount career when she hit a two-out bomb over the left field wall. Taylor Sigmon and Courtney Price followed with back-to-back doubles with Price's double scoring Sigmon.
The Gamecocks tied the game at two in the bottom of the first.
After a scoreless second inning, Western Carolina took the lead again with a run in the top of the third. Harkey drew a one out walk and moved to second on a single by Salvo. An RBI single by Price plated Harkey.
Junior pitcher Jordan Garrett held South Carolina scoreless four straight innings, after giving up two runs in the first, before the Gamecocks' huge sixth inning. Garrett even worked her way around a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth when she forced a ground out to end the inning.
Garrett tossed her second consecutive complete game falling to 1-4 on the season. She gave up nine hits, one earned run and struck out nine.
Salvo went 3-for-3 in the game with a homerun, an RBI and a run scored. Price had two of the Catamounts' six hits in the game and had two RBI.
South Carolina 5, Western Carolina 0
Sophomore pitcher Mallory Broome had a shaky start to game two allowing South Carolina to push a run across in the bottom of the first. . Ashlyn Masters and Aiaynie Page led off the Gamecocks half of the first with back-to-back singles moving Master's to third. South Carolina scored its lone run in the first off a wild pitch by Broome that scored Masters.
South Carolina added an additional run in the bottom of the third. With one out Broome hit Page and she went on to steal second. With two outs, Lawrence doubled to center field to score Page.
Kristen Struett hit a homerun over the center field wall to lead off the bottom of the fourth for the Gamecocks third run of the game. After Struett's homerun, South Carolina tacked on two more runs in the inning.
Western Carolina has base runners in the fourth and fifth inning, both courtesy of being hit by a pitch but couldn't push a runner across. Harkey got into scoring position in the top of the fifth when she was hit by a pitch and stole second but was stranded there.
The Catamounts biggest threat of the game came in in the top of the sixth which began when senior second baseman Makenzi McAteer broke up South Carolina pitcher Julie Sarratt's no-hitter attempt by lining a single past third base. Salvo drew a two out walk and Sigmon followed with a single up the middle to load the bases for Western Carolina but Harkey couldn't get anything going striking out to end the inning. South Carolina tacked on an additional run in the bottom of the sixth.
Broome went three innings being relieved by Courtney Buchanan in the fourth inning. Broome takes the loss and falls to 1-4 on the season giving up three runs on four hits. Buchanan closed out the game going three innings and giving up one run on three hits and striking out three.
Western Carolina will compete in the Sixth Annual Bulldog Invitational, hosted by the University of Georgia, February 28-March 2 in Athens, Ga.