March 22, 2014
BOONE, N.C. - Western Carolina softball (13-17, 3-2 SoCon) split a Southern Conference doubleheader at Appalachian State (10-16, 2-2 SoCon) Saturday falling 6-2 in the first game before bouncing back to shut out the Mountaineers 5-0 in game two.
Appalachian State 6, Western Carolina 2
Western Carolina out-hit Appalachian State 6-5 but couldn't overcome two big innings, in the second and third, as Appalachian State took game one, 6-2.
The Mountaineers took an early 1-0 lead with one pitch as Appalachian State's Sarah Warnock took Catamount pitcher Jordan Garrett's first offering over the center field wall. Garrett then gave up a double to Cynthia Gomez but came back to get a strike out and fly out. During the fly out by Ashley Seering Gomez was thrown out trying to move to third.
Western Carolina took a short-lived 2-1 lead in the top of the second. With one out, Heather Chastain hit a double to left center. Chastain was lifted for pinch runner Lexi Ross and back-to-back walks by Amber Kimrey and Makenzi McAteer loaded the bases. Whitney Haywood hit into a fielder's choice and Ross was erased at home for the first out. Griffin hit a two RBI single to right field plating Kimrey and McAteer.
Garrett breezed through the bottom of the second with a pair of strikeouts and a ground out. The third and fourth were not so easy for Garrett. Appalachian State rallied with two outs, in the third, scoring three runs, and also benefited from two Western Carolina errors. The Mountaineers added a pair of runs in the fourth off a homerun from Caroline Rogers.
Garrett falls to 5-10 on the season giving up three earned runs, on five hits, and struck out six. Shivaun Landeros takes the win for Appalachian State improving to 7-7 on the year. Griffin went 2-for-4 for WCU at the plate.
Western Carolina 5, Appalachian State 0
Freshman Courtney Buchanan tossed five shutout innings, freshman Kara Salvo went 3-for-3 with a homerun, two runs scored and an RBI and Taylor Sigmon earned her fourth save in two innings of relief combining to help Western Carolina shut out Appalachian State in game two, 5-0.
Savlo set the tone early when she hit a two out homerun, her fourth homerun of the year, on the first pitch offered by Mountaineer pitcher Alissa Schoelkopf, in the top of the first.
Buchanan then settled in to work around a pair of jams in the third and fourth inning to keep Appalachian State off the scoreboard. A Mountaineer walk and single turned harmless in the third when Buchanan forced a fly out and a pop up to end the inning. Buchanan got into a bit of pickle again in the fourth when a Catamount error and walk put ASU runners on first and second again. The Catamount defense picked her up when Salvo took a liner going to third stepped on the bag and then threw the runner out at first for a double play.
The Catamounts added their second run of the game in the top of the fifth. With one out, freshman Lexi Ross hit a bloop single to left field. She scored on an RBI single past third base by Salvo.
Western Carolina all but put the game away when it plated three runs in the top of the seventh. Brooke Coggins, who came into play at first base in the sixth inning when Sigmon came into pitch and left first base, drew a walk to lead off the seventh. Griffin reached on an error and Karley Harkey singled past the short stop to load the base. Salvo notched her third RBI of the game when she singled through the left side and Coggins scored. Griffin also attempted to go home but was thrown out at home. Sigmon helped her cause, as she was set to toss her second inning of relief in the bottom of the seventh, when she hit a two RBI double scoring Harkey and Salvo.
Buchanan tossed five shutout innings giving up two hits and striking out four, improving to 5-2 on the year. Sigmon threw two innings of relief, giving up just one hit and striking out four, notching her fourth save of the year.
Western Carolina had nine hits in the game.
The Catamounts will look to take the conference series over Appalachian State Sunday at 1 p.m. Fans can listen to the game on Catamountsports.com