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Softball Hangs Tough in Pair of Losses at Charleston Challenge

March 19, 2017

Box Score vs. OhioBox Score vs. CofC

The Basics:
Score: Ohio 2, Western Carolina 0; College of Charleston 8, Western Carolina 7
Records: Western Carolina 5-11, College of Charleston 14-11, Ohio 19-6
Location: Mount Pleasant, S.C., Patriots Point

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. -- Western Carolina closed out play at the Charleston Challenge Sunday with a pair of losses falling to Ohio 2-0 and College of Charleston 8-7 at Patriots Point.

Turning Point:
Ohio scored two runs in the game, one in the first and one in the sixth, holding the Catamounts scoreless, for the win. The Bobcats insurance run came in the sixth with a solo homerun.

How it Happened:
Ohio loaded the bases on three straight singles, to open the game, and scored its first run of the game courtesy of a sacrifice fly RBI by Natalie Alvarez. The Bobcats added an insurance run when Morgan Geno hit a solo homerun in the top of the sixth. Western Carolina attempted a rally in the bottom of the seventh when Emily Weatherman hit a lead-off single to right field and Courtney Price singled up the middle. With the tying run on first, the Catamounts next three batters were sat down, including a pair of strikeouts to close out the game and the Catamount threat.

Inside the Box Score:
- Ohio pitcher Danielle Steine had a perfect game through 4.2 innings before Ashlyn Long hit a two-out double in the bottom of the fifth.
- Western Carolina had three hits in the game, with two coming in the seventh inning, while Ohio had five.
- Courtney Buchanan tossed a complete game, seven innings, giving up two runs, on five hits and struck out three. She also walked four and took the loss.
- Buchanan sat down six straight batters in the third and fourth inning before giving up a walk in the fifth. - Ohio left six runners on base and Western Carolina stranded three.

Turning Point:
With Western Carolina leading 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh, College of Charleston scored two runs to secure the win. The Cougars tied the game at seven then hit a bunt RBI single walk-off to earn the 8-7 win.

How it Happened:
With Western Carolina carrying a 7-3 lead into the bottom of the fifth, College of Charleston used a base-clearing double to pull within one, 7-6, and then took the lead in the bottom of the seventh on a walk-off bunt single by Taylor DuPree to secure the win. Western Carolina opened the game with four runs in the top of the first. The Catamounts scored runs in third and the fifth but College of Charleston just kept whittling away at the Catamount lead until it paid off in the seventh inning.

Inside the Box Score:
- Western Carolina had eight hits in the game and College of Charleston had nine.
- The Catamounts committed one error.
- Hunter Gibbons went 3-for-4 in the game with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.
- Madison Armstrong got things started for Western Carolina with a two RBI double in the top of the first inning. She was 1-for-1 in the game with two RBI, two runs scored and three walks. Courtesy of the three walks, Armstrong reached base in all four at bats.
- Long was 2-for-3 with two RBI and reached base three of her four at bats.
- Sophomore pitcher Shaina Reed got the start and was lifted after 0.1 innings. She would become the first of three Catamount pitchers who saw action in the game. Reed allowed one run and also walked a batter.
- Lily Hayes replaced Reed in the first with one out. She went 4.0 innings giving up five runs on six hits, three walks and struck out two.
- Buchanan was the last WCU pitcher to enter the game entering the game in the sixth inning. She went 1.2 innings giving up two runs, three hits, including the Cougar walk-off hit, and struck out one. She takes the loss and falls to 1-5.

News & Notes:
- Price's double against College of Charleston was the 30th of her career. She needs three doubles to break the school record for doubles in a career.
- Western Carolina's eight hits were the most hits the Catamounts strung together in the four games of the Charleston Challenge. In the previous three games, WCU had seven hits combined and had eight in the game against the Cougars on Sunday.
- For the tournament Long hit .444 with four hits and a double. Teammate Gibbons was just below her with a .400 batting average with four hits, two runs scored, two doubles and a RBI.
- Western Carolina is suffering through a six-game losing streak. - The Catamounts will play the next seven games on the road before finally hosting Charlotte in WCU's home opener on March 29.

Up Next:
Western Carolina travels to Presbyterian College Wednesday for a double-header with the Blue Hose. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. a time change from the previously announced 4 p.m. start.

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