March 15, 2014
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Jordan Garrett tossed a one-hit shutout as Western Carolina softball took the Southern Conference series with Elon Saturday at the Catamount Softball Complex. After winning Friday's game, 4-3 in 10 innings, the Catamounts dropped game two 2-1 before bouncing back, on the arm of Garrett, to win game three 3-0.
The Catamounts improve to 11-15 on the season and 2-1 in Southern Conference action. Elon falls to 16-8-1 on the year and 1-2 in conference.
Game 1: Elon 2, Western Carolina 1
Elon scored its only two runs of the game in the first inning. The Phoenix got to Catamount freshman pitcher Courtney Buchanan in the first inning, pinning two runs on her, including a two-run homerun by Carleigh Nester. Buchanan was replaced by sophomore Mallory Broome with two outs and two runners on. Broome struck out Lauren Oldham to end the inning.
Elon did not find home plate again as Broome tossed 6.1 innings of shutout ball allowing just two hits and striking out five.
Western Carolina out-hit Elon 9-5 in the game but the Catamounts also couldn't find home plate to score. The Catamounts had base runners in six of the seven innings and finally scored in the bottom of the seventh.
The Catamounts began a seventh inning rally when Makenzi McAteer led off with a double to left field. With one out, senior Amelia Griffin reached first on an Elon error and the Catamounts had runners on second and third when Griffin moved to second and McAteer moved to third. Sophomore Karley Harkey hit a sacrifice fly to score McAteer and the Catamounts sliced the Elon lead to one, 2-1. Kara Salvo kept the inning alive when she singled to left field but the game ended on a ground out by Taylor Sigmon.
Buchanan took the loss falling to 4-2 on the year. Griffin, Salvo and Sigmon were each 2-for-4 in the game.
Game 2: Western Carolina 3, Elon 0
Garrett tossed her second straight complete game, and recorded her second shutout of the season, when she closed down Elon in game two of the doubleheader Saturday. The Henderson, N.C. native had a no-hitter going through five innings before the Phoenix's Alaina Hall singled through the left side with two outs. Garrett struck out Emily Cameron to end the inning.
Garrett sat down 17 of the first 18 batters she faced before Hall notched Elon's only hit of the game. Elon had only three base runners in the game, and Hall was ironically on base twice, as she also reached first on a Catamount error to start the game. The only other Phoenix base runner was Grace Eng, drawing a walk, in the top of the seventh with two outs.
Again Garrett has an answer for allowing a base runner. She promptly stuck out senior Ali Ford looking to end the game. That last strikeout, against Ford, was Garrett's seventh of the contest.
At the plate, Western Carolina gave Garrett an early 1-0 cushion as it scored a run in the top of the first. Griffin's single bunt and Harkey's single through the right side put runners on first and second for the Catamounts. Salvo flied out to right field, but a mishandled ball by short-stop Ford allowed Griffin to score.
Elon pitcher Caitlin O'Shea got out of a few jams in innings two through four before Western Carolina struck again with two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Again the scoring started with a Griffin single. A sacrifice bunt by Harkey pushed Griffin to second and she promptly stole third. Salvo reached first on a fielder's choice when the Elon second baseman decided to hold the ball to keep Griffin at third. Courtney Price hit an RBI single to right field scoring Griffin. Amber Kimrey also notched an RBI single, scoring pinch runner Lexi Ross, as her ball lined past the Elon pitcher O'Shea.
Garrett improves to 4-9 on the season. O'Shea takes the loss falling to 4-2, tossing 6.0 innings, before being lifted in the seventh for relief pitcher Alli Burdette. Western Carolina had nine hits in the game. Griffin, Price, Kimrey and Haywood each had a pair of hits.
Western Carolina returns to action Wednesday when it travels to Johnson City, Tenn. facing future Southern Conference opponent ETSU. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 5 p.m. Live audio coverage will be provided on catamountsports.com with Kyle Rush on the call.