March 20, 2013
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina softball (9-18) split a doubleheader with ETSU (8-16) dropping the first game 3-0 and bouncing back to win the second game 8-1 Wednesday at the Catamount Softball Complex.
Both teams were able to snap losing streaks in the pair of games. ETSU snapped a nine-game losing streak with the victory in the first game while Western Carolina stopped a four-game slide with the win in the second game.
ETSU 3, Western Carolina 0
An error riddled top of the first plagued the Catamounts in the opening game of the doubleheader. Western Carolina committed three errors and gave up a pair of runs to set the tone for the game.
Freshman hurler Taylor Sigmon got the starting nod in the game, and pitched a stellar complete game, but couldn't overcome the Catamounts' errors. Sigmon fanned a career-high 10 batters in the contest besting her nine strikeouts she posted against then No. 5 Florida on February 16. Sigmon falls to 0-3 on the season.
Western Carolina out-hit the Buccaneers six to four, and had a key scoring chance in the bottom of the sixth but couldn't push a runner across. With one out, Sigmon picked up her second hit of the game and moved to second on an ETSU passed ball and moved on to third on a ground out by senior Jordan Fulton. A pop up to the short stop by freshman Karley Harkey ended the inning.
ETSU added a run in the top of the seventh when Bethany Cowart led off with a triple and scored when Jenine Duncan reached on a Catamount error and Cowart scored on the play.
Western Carolina 8, ETSU 1
The Catamounts didn't waste anytime getting on the scoreboard in the second game after being shutout in game one. With one out, Megan Crowe doubled to right field the first of two doubles for her in the game. Sophomore catcher Heather Chastain reached first when the ETSU shortstop attempted a sweeping tag on Crowe, as she moved to third, and missed the tag. With runners at the corners, Sigmon launched a three-run homerun to left field to give the Catamounts the early lead.
Sigmon's homerun was her fourth on the season which ties for the team lead.
After Sigmon's homerun, Western Carolina would tack on one more run when Amber Steinhardt doubled, Shemekia Scotton hit a bunt single and Fulton was hit by a pitch to load the base. Amber Kimrey walked, with bases loaded, to score Steinhardt. ETSU pulled off a double play to end the inning.
With the early 4-0 lead, sophomore pitcher Jordan Garrett got in the zone and took over the game. She had nine strikeouts in the game allowing one run and giving up six hits. She improves to 7-8 on the season. Garrett also has 130 strikeouts this season which continues to lead the Southern Conference.
ETSU picked up a run in the top of the third inning but Western Carolina got the run right back scoring a run in the bottom of the third. Steinhardt led off the Catamounts half of the third with a single to left center and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Scotton. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Steinhardt scored on an RBI single by Fulton.
After giving up a run in the third, Garrett tossed four scoreless innings and Western Carolina scored in two of the final four innings.
Western Carolina added a run in the fourth inning. Amelia Griffin led off the fourth with a walk and advanced to second a sacrifice bunt by Crowe. Griffin motored to third on a passed ball and scored off an RBI single by Sigmon.
The Catamounts closed out its scoring with a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Fulton led off the inning with a walk and Kimrey singled to center field. With two outs, Crowe hit her second double in the game, a ball hit so hard it barely missed going over the right centerfield wall kissing the lip of the wall and falling back in. Fulton and Kimrey scored on the two RBI double by Crowe.
Western Carolina had 12 hits in the game with Sigmon going 2-for-4 with four RBI and scoring a run.
The Catamounts hit the road this season for a three-game series at Samford. Western Carolina plays a doubleheader with the Bulldogs beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday and single game on Sunday also at 2 p.m. All three-games will be live blogged on www.catamountsports.com