March 4, 2012
WOODSTOCK, Ga. - Western Carolina softball (9-9) prevailed in two tight games Sunday, in the final day of the Buzz Classic, defeating Southeastern Louisiana 5-4 and nipping Alabama State 7-6 in eight innings.
Erin Foster hit a walk-off single, in the eighth inning, to close out the Buzz Classic for the Catamounts with a win over Alabama State. In the second game of the day, Western Carolina found itself going to extra innings, as the game ended regulation tied at six.
Enacting the international softball rules, of putting a runner on second base, Western Carolina benefitted from this ruling by batting last. Alabama State had its runner on second gunned down at home, and pitcher Amber Steinhardt forced a pair of groundouts to end Alabama State's threat.
Western Carolina didn't waste its chances in the extra frame of the game. Sophomore Amelia Griffin was placed on second and Foster sliced a shot to right field and Griffin motored home for the win.
The Catamounts looked to have the game against Alabama State well in hand building up a 6-0 lead over the course of the first three innings. Western Carolina scored two runs in the first inning and for in the third.
In the first inning, with one out, Griffin drew a walk and Foster singled for runners at first and second. A single by Shemekia Scotton loaded the bases with Catamounts. Kelly Braman hit an RBI single scoring Griffin. After Foster was called out at home, and the bases were still loaded, Makenzi McAteer walked, which allowed Scotton to score.
Western Carolina tacked on four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The inning opened with back-to-back singles by Foster and Scotton. Braman got on base off a fielder's choice which got Foster called out at third, the play also allowed Scotton to move to third. Haley Pace hit an RBI single scoring Scotton and Braman scored on an RBI double by McAteer. The remaining runs were courtesy of an RBI single by Megan Crowe and an RBI double by Jordan Fulton.
Alabama State battled back with three runs in the fifth and tying the game with three runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Steinhardt tossed eight innings allowing four runs on four hits and took the win, improving to 2-1. In the top of the seventh, Steinhardt was replaced by Bekah Burkett, but after she gave up two runs on two hits, Steinhardt came back into the game.
Fulton, Foster and Scotton each had three hits in the game. Scotton also scored two runs.
In the opening game of the day, Western Carolina found itself down early, 1-0, as the Lions scored a run in the top of the first. Michelle Duhe got on base off a Catamount error and scored on an RBI single by Kelsey Nichols.
In the bottom of the second, Western Carolina got on the board with a pair of runs. With one out, Braman drew a walk and motored to second on a wild pitch. Pace laced a single past the second baseman moving Braman to third. The second wild pitch by SELU moved Pace to second and a walk by Robyn Burnette loaded the bases. The third wild pitch of the inning scored Braman, then back-to-back walks by Heather Chastain and Fulton allowed Pace to score and the Catamounts to take the lead. The walk Fulton drew not only scored pace, but earned her an RBI.
Western Carolina scattered three more runs over the course of the next four innings built the Catamounts lead to 5-1. Pace's second single of the game, set up the third run of the game, as she scored on an RBI single by Burnette. In the fourth inning, Fulton hit a one-out single and then scored off an RBI double by Foster. The Catamounts scored its final run f the game in the sixth inning, proving to be the insurance run, when Foster singled to right field, scoring Fulton.
Southeastern Louisiana attempted a come-back in the top of the seventh inning scoring three runs in the top of the seventh inning. Relief pitcher Jordan Garrett got into a bit of a jam in the seventh inning, giving up three runs on three hits and the Lions also benefitted from one WCU error. Steinhardt came into the game with one out, forcing a pair of ground outs to end the game, and earn a save in the game.
Katie King got the start in the game, and had a productive outing allowing just one run on three hits. King earned the win and improves to 2-3 on the season.
Foster and Pace had two hits in the game. Foster also had two RBI in the contest.
Western Carolina returns to action on Tuesday playing a doubleheader at Georgia Tech. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. and a LIVE BLOG will be available for the game.