Feb. 28, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. - Western Carolina softball (3-10) was dropped both games in day one action at the Sixth Annual Bulldog Invitational falling 9-0 to UAB and holding strong but falling to No. 18 Georgia 9-3.
The Catamounts will get a second chance against UAB on Saturday as it faces the Blaze at 10 a.m. Western Carolina will also take on St. John's at 5:30 p.m.
UAB 9, Western Carolina 0
Starting pitcher Jordan Garrett had a rocky start against the Blaze as she gave up four of the eight first inning runs UAB scored. Garrett gave up four runs on three hits, adding a walk, before she was replaced by Mallory Broome.
Broome would yield four more runs in the bottom of the first before the Blaze were retired. In the second inning UAB tacked on an additional run before Broome settled down and held the Blaze scoreless in the next three ensuing innings. The game was halted after five innings, due to the International Tie-Breaker rule in which the game is halted if one team leads by eight or more runs after five innings.
No. 18 Georgia 9, Western Carolina 3
Western Carolina held strong against Top-25 Georgia and even took the early 1-0 lead in the contest. After two scoreless innings, Griffin drew a lead-off single and scored on an RBI triple by sophomore shortstop Karley Harkey. The triple bagger was Harkey's second triple of the season.
Freshman Courtney Buchanan tossed a gem in the first three innings holding the high-octane Bulldogs scoreless and giving up just two hits through three. Georgia scratched the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning scoring three runs to take the lead.
Buchanan was pulled with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning for Garrett who battled for the final two outs. Georgia looked to get a fourth run in the fourth but a bang-bang play at home, into the waiting glove of freshman catcher Kara Salvo for the final out of the inning.
The gritty youthful Catamounts proved what they have shown this entire young season - they have the fighting spirit. The showed it in the top of the fifth scoring two runs to knot the game at three. Salvo picked up a one out walk and was lifted for pinch runner Lexi Ross. Taylor Sigmon followed with a single moving Ross to second. Ross scored on a Georgia error that allowed Courtney Price to reach first. Back-to-back wild pitches moved Sigmon and Price two bases and then Sigmon scored for the second run.
Georgia proved why it is ranked in the Top-25 by unleashing for six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. After Garrett went one inning, Broome came to the game. Broome was the third Catamount pitcher to see action in the game. Broome went two thirds of an inning giving up four runs on two hits. Garrett take the loss as she gave up the go-ahead runs after the game was tied at three and falls to 1-6 on the season.
Sigmon tossed the bottom of the sixth inning and shut down the Bulldogs. She had two strikeouts and didn't allow a hit.
Western Carolina had four hits in the game. Griffin, Harkey, Sigmon and Haywood each had a hit.