March 13, 2013
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina softball (8-14) hit seven homeruns as a team and split the doubleheader with Winthrop (12-13) dropping the first game 7-5 and claiming the second game 8-7 Wednesday at the Catamount Softball Complex.
After going the first 12 games of the season without a homerun, Western Carolina has hit one or more homeruns in seven of the last 10 games. The Catamounts have had at least one homerun in the last five games and three or more in the last three including a season-high four games in two of the last three games.
Winthrop 7, Western Carolina 5
Western Carolina broke open the first game of the doubleheader early with back-to-back homeruns in the bottom of the second. Sophomore catcher Heather Chastain hit a lead-off homerun, her third of the season, and freshman Taylor Sigmon followed with a shot to left field.
Winthrop knotted the game at two when Catamount pitcher Jordan Garrett gave up two runs in the top of the third.
Senior Amber Steinhardt's fielder's choice RBI, with the bases loaded allowed Western Carolina to re-claim the lead 3-2. Three straight walks by Eagle pitcher Sara Allen to Amelia Griffin, Jordan Fulton and Shemkia Scotton set up the RBI fielder's choice by Steinhardt that scored Griffin.
Winthrop broke open the game in the top of the fifth scoring four runs. The scoring frenzy knocked Garrett out of the game. Garret went four innings allowing four runs, two earned, three hits and struck out two. Garrett was replaced in the fourth by Mallory Broome.
Sigmon drew a walk to start the bottom of the fifth and she would move around the bases and score off an RBI single by Fulton. Winthrop added a run in the top of the sixth to extend its lead to 7-4.
Western Carolina added a run in the bottom of the sixth when Haley Pace hit a homerun to left field. Neither team scored in the seventh.
Broome took the loss in the game allowing three runs, one hit and walking four. Broome falls to 1-4 on the season.
The Catamounts had three homeruns in the game. Griffin had a pair of hits in the game.
Western Carolina 8, Winthrop 7
Tied at seven in the bottom of the seventh, Western Carolina continued its homerun streak and this time it paid off. With two outs, Scotton sailed a shot over centerfield to give the Catamounts an 8-7 lead and eventual win. After two scoreless innings, the second game of the doubleheader became a slugfest. Western Carolina struck first with three runs in the bottom of the third. After Scotton drew a two-out walk, Amber Steinhardt launched a two RBI homerun to right center. Pace followed with a solo homerun, her second long ball of the doubleheader.
Sigmon, who earned her third start of the season, cruised through four scoreless innings on the mound allowing Western Carolina to build a 4-0 lead. The Catamounts tacked on a single run in the bottom of the fourth when sophomore second baseman Megan Crowe homered to left field, her second homerun of her career.
After sailing through four innings unscathed, Sigmon was roughed up a bit in the top of the fifth when Winthrop tacked on five runs on the freshman from Catawba, N.C. Even though Sigmon went through a rough patch she continued to battle through the inning and ended the fifth striking out Kathryn Eberlin.
The Catamount offense also battled. Trailing 5-4 entering the bottom of the fifth, Western Carolina re-took the lead scoring three runs. Fulton led off the bottom of the fifth with a walk and promptly stole second. With one out, Steinhardt singled past the shortstop and Fulton moved to third. After Pace walked, Chastain doubled to the centerfield wall to send in three runs.
Sigmon started the top of the sixth giving up a homerun to Alex White and was replaced by Garrett. It was a rough start to Garrett as she entered the game and gave up a homerun to Kelsey Ritter to tie the game at seven. With the game tied, it became a game for Garrett two win or lose on the mound.
Scotton gave Western Carolina the lead with her homerun in the bottom of the sixth and the game fell on Garrett's shoulders in the top of the seventh. Garrett opened the seventh by striking out Makenzi Corn. After walking Chelsey Schoenfeldt Garrett struck out the next two batters to end the game.
Garrett took the win and improves to 6-7 on the season. Sigmon went five innings allwing six runs, seven hits and struck out seven.
Steinhardt was 3-for-4 in the game with two RBI. Chastain had just one hit in the contest but it was a three RBI double.
Western Carolina hosts UNCG Saturday and Sunday in a three-game Southern Conference series. First game of the doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. Saturday and a single game on Sunday.