March 19, 2014
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -Western Carolina softball (12-16) split a doubleheader tilt with future Southern Conference opponent ETSU (11-12) Wednesday winning game one 6-5 and dropping game two 6-4 at Betsy Basler Field.
Western Carolina 6, ETSU 5
Western Carolina picked up its first road win of the season, 6-5, in the opening game of the doubleheader with ETSU.
After two scoreless innings, ETSU scored first in the bottom of the third. A pair of one out singles and a Catamount fielding error plated the first run of the inning for the Buccaneers. Then a two RBI single by Jackie Baird gave ETSU the 3-0 lead.
Western Carolina exploded for six runs in the top of the fifth inning. A walk by Makenzi McAteer and a double down the right field line by Brooke Coggins placed runners at second and third. With one out, sophomore Karley Harkeylaunched a three-run homerun over the left field wall to knot the game at three. It was Harkey's first homerun of the season.
The Catamounts took the lead when Kara Salvo and Taylor Sigmon followed up Harkey's homerun with back-to-back singles. Courtney Price hit a two RBI triple, scoring Salvo and Sigmon. Junior Heather Chastain'ssacrifice fly to center field scored Price and proved to be the insurance run Western Carolina needed.
The insurance run, when Price scored off the Chastain SAC fly, proved itself in the bottom of the sixth when ETSU pulled within one run with a single swing of the bat. Katie Wolf hit a two run homerun to make the score 6-5.
With no outs and ETSU within one run, in the bottom of the sixth, starting WCU pitcher Jordan Garrett was lifted for relief pitcher Taylor Sigmonwho promptly struck out the three batters she faced to end the inning.
Taylor came back to finish the game in the bottom of the seventh with WCU continuing to lead 6-5. A Catamount error allowed the tying Buccaneer to reach first and a pair of ground-outs to move the Buccaneer runner to third. Sigmon struck out ETSU's Taylor Carter to end the game.
Garrett picked up the win and improves to 5-9 on the season. For her two innings of work, Sigmon earned her third save of the season. Harkey was 3-for-4 with three RBI and a homerun. Price also had a pair of hits, a pair of RBI and a homerun. Western Carolina out-hit ETSU 10-to-6.
ETSU 6, Western Carolina 4
Despite out-hitting ETSU 12-4, in the second game, the Catamounts dropped game two 6-4.
ETSU got on the board in the second inning. The Buccaneers got two runs on a two RBI homerun by Carter with one out.
Western Carolina got one of the two runs back in the top of the third. Harkey drew a one out walk and moved to second on an ETSU passed ball. Kara Salvosingled through the left side scoring Harkey. Price singled putting runners at the corners, and two outs, but Chastain ground out to end the inning.
ETSU added two more runs in the bottom of the third. With no outs, Wolff singled, Baird walked and Bethany Cowart reached on a Catamount error to load the bases. Back-to-back ETSU RBI groundouts scored a pair of runs. With two outs and a runner at third Catamount pitcher Mallory Broomestruck out Mykea Johnson to end the inning.
The Buccaneers tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. After Catamount hurler Broome walked the ETSU lead-off batter she was lifted for freshman Courtney Buchanan. An ETSU single by Nicole Fox put runners at first and second and a passed ball moved them to second and third. Buchanan got the first out of the inning when she notched a strikeout. Wolff hit a two RBI single to plate two more runs. Buchanan followed up that single by Wolff by striking out the next two batters. Buchanan had three strikeouts in the inning.
A lead-off single by Catamount senior Amelia Griffinstarted a two-run top of the fifth for WCU. Griffin stole her eighth base of the season to put herself in scoring position. A ground out by Harkey moved Griffin to third and Griffin scored on an RBI single by Salvo. Sigmon followed with a single and Western Carolina had runners at first and second and one out. Price doubled to right center and Salvo scored but Sigmon was thrown out at home for the second out. Chastain plated the second run of the inning when she singled to right center to score Price.
Western Carolina was looking for a little seventh inning rally magic. Sigmon hit a one-out single by was erased on a fielder's choice that put Price on first. Chastain followed with a single to right field that moved Price to third. Amber Kimreyground out to second base to end the game.
Broome takes the loss and falls to 1-5 on the season. She went three innings, gave up five runs, four earned. on two hits, struck out five and walked five.
After ETSU scored a pair of runs in the second, third and fourth innings, relief pitcher Buchanan held the Buccaneers scoreless in the ensuing fifth and six innings. Buchanan tossed allowing one run, in the fourth inning, gave up two hits and struck out four.
Salvo and Sigmon were each 3-for-4 in the game and Salvo also had a pair of RBI and a run scored.
Western Carolina will travel to Appalachian State Saturday for its first Southern Conference road series of the season. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. Saturday and the game can be heard via live audio broadcast on catamountsports.com.