March 17, 2012
STATESBORO, Ga. - Western Carolina softball (9-15, 0-2 Southern Conference) was swept by Georgia Southern (16-10, 5-0 SoCon) 5-1, 3-2 Saturday, at Eagle Field, in the Catamounts opening Southern Conference weekend.
Western Carolina and Georgia Southern each had seven hits, in the first game of the doubleheader. However, it what the Eagles did with their hits, and what they did with what was given to them, that was the difference in the game.
Starting Catamount pitcher Jordan Garrett had five walks in the game, three in the first inning, which helped lead to the Eagles' two runs in the first inning. Western Carolina would play catch-up the rest of the game, a role the Catamounts have been in before, but couldn't overcome in this game.
The Catamounts did slice the Eagles' lead in half in the third inning. Freshman catcher Heather Chastain singled through the left side to start the inning. Chastain was replaced, at first, by pinch runner Alex Church, who promptly moved to second off a single by Jordan Fulton. Church scored on an RBI single by Erin Foster.
Georgia Southern would add two more runs in the fifth inning and a single run in the sixth.
Garrett did settle down a bit in the ensuing innings, after the rough start in the bottom of the first. She ended the contest allowing five runs, two earned, striking out four and yielding five walks. She falls to 5-7 on the season.
Errors continued to plague Western Carolina in the second game. After making some nifty defensive moves in the first inning, in which an Eagle runner was thrown out at first and a GSU runner was also out at home in the same play, WCU wasn't as lucky in the second inning.
With two outs, on some quality plays, Western Carolina looked to be poised to get ot fo the inning. Steinhardt had given up a walk to Savanah Coon, her first walk of the game, to set up the Eagles run. The Eagles' Tabby Douberlay hit what looked like a routine grounder to the Catamount shortstop, but she threw it over the WCU first baseman head to reach first on an error. In the Catamounts second error on the play, in which the ball was misjudged in between first and second, Coon scored.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Marie Fogle hit an RBI triple to score Alexa Lewis and give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
Western Carolina tied the game at two in the top of the sixth inning. It all began when sophomore right fielder Amelia Griffin beat out a throw to reach first. Erin Foster reached first, and moved to first, on Georgia Southern's first error of the game. With runners on second and third, sophomore Kelly Braman hit a frozen rope to right field, for a two RBI single to score Griffin and Foster.
Georgia Southern quickly re-took the lead in the bottom of the sixth when pinch hitter Shelby Morrill hit an RBI single to right field to give the Eagles the 3-2 lead.
Steinhardt takes the loss in the second game falling to 2-3 on the season. She gave up eight hits, two earned runs, and struck out four.
Braman was 3-for-3 in the game with two RBI. She accounted for three of Western Carolina's five hits in the game.
The Catamounts complete its three-game series with the Eagles on Sunday in Statesboro. The first pitch is set for 1 p.m.