March 27, 2013
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Western Carolina softball (11-21) dropped a pair of games to USC Upstate (25-3) Wednesday falling 1-0 and 9-1 at Cyrill Stadium.
USC Upstate 1, Western Carolina 0
Game one was a pitching duel between Western Carolina freshman pitcher Taylor Sigmon and USC Upstate pitcher Hannah Alexander. In the end, it was Alexander who won as the Spartans came away with a 1-0 victory and Alexander tossed a no-hitter for six innings.
Alexander had her perfect game going into the sixth inning but an error, allowing Jordan Fulton to reach first, blew that out of the water. Her no-hitter was rendered null and void in the seventh inning.
Megan Crowe led off the seventh inning with the Catamounts only hit in the game and set up a rally attempt for WCU. Pinch hitter Makenzi McAteer drew a walk and Western Carolina looked to be in business with runners at first and second. A ground out by Sigmon, where she almost beat out the throw to first, pushed the Catamount runners to second and third. A failed squeeze attempt home got Crowe picked off at third and Sarah Perrine struck out to end the inning and the game.
The Spartans got their only run in the game in the third inning. Meredith Barnes hit a lead off single and then would eventually score off a Western Carolina error.
Sigmon did not pitch a shutout but she also did not allow an earned run in the game. She had three strikeouts and falls to 0-6. Alexander had 12 strikeouts and improves to 10-2.
USC Upstate 9, Western Carolina 1
Just like in game one, it was Western Carolina errors that equated to runs for USC Upstate. After two quick outs by Western Carolina pitcher Jordan Garrett, confusion on a popped fly in the area between the pitcher, third base and catcher, equated to a muffed catch attempt and Shellie Robinson getting to second. A single by Cheyenne Griffin put runners at first and third and a double by Maddison Kieffer scored the pair of unearned runs by the Spartans.
Western Carolina had a huge scoring chance in the top of the second. Haley Pace had a lead off single that skipped over the fist place bag. She was pushed to second on a nice bunt by Amber Steinhardt and got to third on a wild pitch. Scotton drew a walk and there were runners at the corners. Jordan Fulton attempted to beat out a bunt attempt but she was called out at first but Scotton did move to second. Karley Harkey struck out to end the inning.
USC Upstate added a three-run homerun by Meredith Barnes in the bottom of the second inning.
Western Carolina finally got on the board in the top of the third inning. Amelia Griffin got on base to lead off thanks to a Spartan error. Griffin stole second and then scored off an RBI double by Sigmon.
After Garrett gave up a homerun to start the bottom of the third inning, she was replaced by Mallory Broome. After registering a strikeout, Broome also gave up a homerun.
Western Carolina stranded a runner in the top of the fifth inning when freshman Karley Harkey led off with a double to left center field. It was Harkey's first double of her career. Griffin laid down a nice sacrifice bunt to move Harkey over to third but she was left on third.
USC Upstate added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Spartans an eight run lead and shorten the game to five innings.
Garret takes the loss in game two and evens her record to 9-9 on the season. Broome had four strikeouts in 2.1 innings of relief.
Western Carolina returns home Friday for the first of a three-game series with Southern Conference foe Chattanooga. The single game Friday is scheduled for 5 p.m. with the doubleheader Saturday slated to begin at noon.