March 30, 2013
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina softball (11-24, 3-9 Southern Conference) was swept by Chattanooga (21-16, 6-3 SoCon) 11-8, 10-1 Saturday at the Catamount Softball Complex.
Chattanooga 11, Western Carolina 8
Western Carolina had a superb defensive play in the top of the first inning pulling off a triple play. With runners on first and second and no outs, Sarah Beth Roberts lined out to pitcher Jordan Garrett who made a heady play throwing the ball to first for the second out and then Taylor Sigmon tossed it over to second to get the runner at second.
Chattanooga's Kasey Tydingco hit a lead-off homerun over the right centerfield wall to give the Lady Mocs' the early 1-0 lead to start the second.
Western Carolina took its first lead of the series in the bottom of the second inning. Haley Pace led off with a single over the head of the Lady Mocs' shortstop. With one out, senior Shemekia Scotton hit a two RBI homerun over the right centerfield to give the Catamounts a 2-1 lead. The Catamounts weren't done on the scoring front as Amber Steinhardt followed with a single past second base. Jordan Fulton reached first off an error by Chattanooga to put runners at first and second. Freshman Karley Harkey's RBI double to right center scored Steinhardt and pushed Western Carolina's lead to 3-1.
The second inning continued when Amelia Griffin drew a walk off Chattanooga starting pitcher Kaisey Carson to load the bases it knocked her out of the game. With one out and bases loaded the Lady Mocs made a pitching change replacing Carons with Taylor Deason. Western Carolina added one more run when Megan Crowe hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Fulton. The Catamounts scored four runs in the bottom of the second to give Western Carolina a 4-1 lead.
An error equated to runs for Chattanooga in the top of the third inning. A routine throw to first turned into an error when Garrett's toss to first base went over the head of Catamount first baseman Taylor Sigmon. Chattanooga had bases loaded when Sarah Poteat hit a single and then Garrett chose to throw home instead of first and a fielder's choice allowed Sam Taylor to go to first. With bases loaded, the Lady Mocs got a run in thanks to free pass when Garrett walked Sarah Beth Roberts. Garrett gave away another run to Chattanooga with another walk, equating to another run, when Tydingco drew a walk.
After giving away two runs due to walks, Garrett was replaced on the mound by freshman Mallory Broome who got the second out thanks to a pop up to the short stop. Chattanooga tied the game at four when Ninjjia Suetsugu hit an RBI single. Western Carolina got out of the inning when shortstop Harkey made a great defensive play, scooping up a shot in the hole, at shortstop, and tossed to first for the third out.
Western Carolina re-took the lead with one swing of the bat. Pace hit a lead-off single past the shortstop. Heather Chastain hit a scorching sot over the right centerfield wall for the two-run homerun to give the Catamounts a 6-4 lead.
Chattanooga took the lead again in to top of the fifth. Tydingco led off with a double and with one out Suetsugu was hit by a pitch. The Lady Mocs loaded the bases on a fielder's choice. Western Carolina issued its third run, thanks to a walk, in the game to pull Chattanooga within one run. With the bases still loaded, Western Carolina committed its second error of the game, in the outfield, to allow the Lady Mocs to tie the game at six. Broome was yanked after that and Garrett came back into the game. An RBI single by Sam Taylor gave the Lady Mocs the lead. Chattanooga wound up scoring seven runs in the fifth to take control of the game.
Chastain hit her second homerun of the game with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull the Catamounts within four runs, 11-7. Western Catamount added one more run in the bottom of the fifth when Amber Steinhardt hit a lead-off single and scored off a ground out RBI by Griffin.
Broome takes the loss in game one and falls to 1-6 on the season. She allowed five runs on three hits and struck out one. Garrett started the game, was relieved and came back into the game, tossing give inning innings allowing six runs, seven hits and struck out four.
Chastain hit a game-high two homeruns going 2-for-3 with three RBI. Western Carolina gave up 10 hits to Chattanooga and connected on eight hits.
Chattanooga 10, Western Carolina 1
After two scoreless innings, Chattanooga manufactured a two-out rally to score first in the game. Catamount starting pitcher Taylor Sigmon sat down six straight Lady Mocs batters before their bats work up scoring five runs on five hits including a three run homerun by Tydingco.
Western Carolina had a nice scoring chance in the bottom of the fourth that the Catamounts let slip away. Pace led off with a bunt single. Chastain flew out to left field for the first out. Scotton was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. However the Catamounts couldn't do anything with the opportunity as Steinhardt popped up to the shortstop and Fulton struck out.
Chattanooga's Alyssa Taylor tacked on the Lady Mocs' sixth run of the game when she led off the fifth with a homerun over the centerfield wall. An RBI single by Tydingco added the second run of the inning for the Lady Mocs to give them a 7-0 lead.
The Lady Mocs scored two runs on a Catamount error in the top of the sixth and got its 10th run of the game on an RBI triple by Sam Taylor to shorten the game to six innings.
Western Carolina avoided the shutout by scoring a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Pace led off with a single and with one out, Scotton was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game. Steinhardt followed with a single to load the bases. A fielder's choice by Fulton erased the runner at third but Pace scored for the Catamounts only run of the game. A single by Karley Harkey loaded the bases again but Griffin flew out to end the inning and the game.
Sigmon went 4.1 innings before being replaced by Steinhardt. Sigmon took the loss in the game and falls to 0-8 on the season.
Western Carolina hosts Gardner-Webb on Wednesday in a mid-week non-conference doubleheader. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.