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Softball Hold tough Against No. 26th ranked USC Upstate; Falls in Doubleheader

Amber Kimrey hit the first homerun of her career in game one against USC Upstate.

April 2, 2014

Game 1 Box Score |game 2 Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina softball went to-to-toe with the No. 26th ranked team in the country as UCS Upstate, ranked No. 26 in the NFCA Poll receiving 25 votes, escaped with a 7-6, in eight innings, and 6-1 victories over the Catamounts Wednesday at the Catamount Softball Complex.

It was the first time this season the Catamounts have lost an extra inning game dropping to 2-1 in games in extra frames. Western Carolina falls to 13-23 while UCS Upstate improves to 34-4.

USC Upstate 7, Western Carolina 6 (Eight innings)

Sophomore hurler Taylor Sigmon got her first start of the season after making 16 appearances in relief. Sigmon went 5.2 innings in a no decision allowing six hits, yielding four walks, striking out two and allowing one earned run.

Sigmon tossed two scoreless innings before USC Upstate scored two runs in the top of the third. A two RBI single by Kendall Settlemeyer, after back-to-back singles by Hayley Reinfield and Shellie Robinson, put the Spartans on top 2-0 heading to the bottom of the third.

Sophomore centerfielder Amber Kimrey sliced the Spartan lead in half with one swing of the bat. The Charlotte, N.C. native launched a lead-off homerun over the centerfield wall for the first homerun of her career.

After a scoreless fourth, Western Carolina took its first lead of the game plating three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Western Carolina hit its second homerun of the game when freshman left fielder Courtney Price hit her second homerun of the season to knot the game at two. It was just the second time this season the Catamounts have hit two homeruns in a game.

After Price's homerun, Kimrey followed with a single down the first base line. Courtney Buchanan and Lexi Ross, getting her first start at second base, followed with singles to load the bases. Senior Amelia Griffin singled past second base for an RBI scoring Kimrey to give WCU a 3-2 lead. With two outs, Kara Salvo singled to left field logging in an RBI scoring Buchanan.

USC Upstate tied the game in the top of the sixth off relief pitcher Jordan Garrett, who came into the game with two outs in the fifth inning. The Spartans benefited from two Catamount errors in the inning and including an error that scored a run and an RBI single by Robinson.

The game went into extra innings after a scoreless seventh inning. With a runner placed on second, the last batter to record an out in the seventh, USC Upstate the Spartans got a second base runner when Garrett gave up a walk. With runners on first and second, Reinfield homered to right field to give the Spartans a 7-4 lead.

The Catamounts as they have all season that even when down they aren't out and won't give up the fight. With pinch runner Brooke Coggins placed on second junior Heather Chastain singled to right field, with one out, and moved Coggins to third. Coggins scored on a passed ball and Chastain moved to third. With two outs, Kimrey picked up her third hit of the game, and another RBI, when she singled to right field to score Chastain. Buchana struck out to end the inning and the game.

Garrett took the loss and falls to 5-12 on the season. Western Carolina out-hit the Spartans 12 to 11 and Kimrey was 3-for-4. Price and Karley Harkey each had a pair of hits.

USC Upstate 6, Western Carolina 1

Three Catamount pitchers saw action in game two against USC Upstate with Buchanan getting the start.

Western Carolina plated the first run of the game in the bottom of the second. Sigmon hit her second homerun of the season when she led off the second inning with a long ball over the left center field wall.

USC Upstate would proceed to score six unanswered runs, over the course of the next five innings, to take the game. The Spartans used the long ball hitting two homeruns, including a two RBI homerun by Robinson in the fifth.

Buchanan went five innings allowing four runs on three hits and struck out two and takes the loss falling to 5-6. Mallory Broome came in and tossed the sixth giving up two runs on three hits and struck out one. Sigmon came into the game in relief in the seventh tossing one inning of scoreless and hitless ball.

Price, Harkey and Ross each had a pair of hits accounting for six of the Catamounts seven hits in the game. Price has now reach base safely in the last 13 games and is currently riding a seven game hitting streak.

Western Carolina will continue its home-stand this weekend hosting SoCon rival Samford in a three-game series. First pitch in the double header on Saturday is set for 1 p.m.