Score: Western Carolina 13, UNCG 5 (five innings) / Western Carolina 7, UNCG 6
Records: Western Carolina 25-11, 4-1 SoCon, UNCG 22-14, 0-2 SoCon
Location: Catamount Softball Complex - Cullowhee, N.C.
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina softball picked up its second straight Southern Conference doubleheader sweep with a 13-5 (five innings), 7-6 pair of wins Saturday at the Catamount Softball Complex.
Western Carolina athletics held a celebration for the first 10 years of Catamount softball with numerous softball alums returning on Saturday. Alumni, and members of the 10th anniversary team, were honored between games one and two with UNCG.
With a 9-5 lead head heading to the bottom of the fifth inning, Western Carolina scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to shorten the game to five innings with a 13-5 win.
How it Happened
- UNCG set the tone early off the bat of senior Lindsey Thomas who hit a lead-off homerun to left center to open the game.
- Western Carolina scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to take the lead, 2-1. Abigail Daniels drew a lead-off walk and moved to second on a passed ball. A single to right center moved Daniels to third. Salvo was erased when Courtney Price hit into a double play. With two outs, Crystal Cyr singled up the middle to score Daniels and moved to third when Hunter Gibbons reached first on an error that pushed Cyr all the way to third. Cyr scored on a passed ball.
- Western Carolina pushed its lead to 4-1 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Victoria Mariscal drew a lead-off walk but was erased at second on a fielder's choice that placed Taylor Sigmon at first. Madison Armstrong's single moved Sigmon to second and a beauty of an RBI bunt single by Daniels scored Sigmon. Salvo's ground out RBI scored Armstrong.
- UNCG cut the Catamount lead to 4-3 scoring a pair of runs in the top of the third. Thomas was hit by a pitch to lead off and a single put runners at first and second. Back-to-back one out RBI singles gave the Spartans a pair of runs to slice the WCU lead to one.
- Western Carolina exploded for five innings in the bottom of the third inning. Cyr led off the inning with a solo homerun. Gibbons followed with a walk and promptly stole second and went around to score when Karley Harkey reached base on the first of two UNCG errors. Mariscal's sacrifice bunt moved Harkey to second and Sigmon reached first when she was hit by a pitch. Armstrong picked up her second hit of the game, an RBI shot to center field that scored Harkey and Sigmon also scored on a UNCG error. An RBI ground out by Daniels plated Armstrong for the fifth run of the inning.
- UNCG got its second lead-off homerun when Kendall McKinney hit the long ball in the top of the fourth to cut the Catamount lead to 9-4.
- After WCU was held scoreless in the bottom of the fourth, UNCG tacked on another run in the top of the fifth to make the score 9-5.
- Western Carolina put the game away scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Mariscal led off the inning with a double to left field that just kissed the inside of the foul line. Back-to-back walks to Sigmon and Daniels loaded the bases. Mariscal attempted to go home on a wild pitch and was thrown out at home but pitch runner Anna Hughey and Daniels each advanced a base. Hughey scored on a wild pitch and another pair of back-to-back walks, with two outs, plated the second run of the inning. A two out two RBI single ghrough the left side by Hunter Gibbons plated the pair of game-winning runs to shorten the game to five innings.
Inside the Box Score
- Junior pitcher Courtney Buchanan got the start and went five innings allowing five runs on seven two and struck out six. She improves to 10-1 on the season.
- Western Carolina had eight hits in the game and UNCG had seven.
- UNCG committed three errors. - Cyr led the team with two runs, two hits and three RBI.
- Armstrong also had a pair of hits, scored three runs and had one RBI.
- There were four homeruns in the game: three by UNCG and one by WCU.
Harkey hit a three run homerun in the bottom of the fifth inning to close out the inning with four runs for WCU. That three-run shot would be just enough for the Catamounts who held on to defeat UNCG 7-6.
How it Happened
- After two scoreless innings, UNCG scored four runs in the top of the third aided by Danielle Vega's two-run homerun.
- Western Carolina cut the UNCG lead in half with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Mariscal led off with a single and Sigmon hit a two-run homerun over center field.
- UNCG got a run back in the top of the fourth with an RBI single by Vega.
- Western Carolina also scored a run in the fourth when Cyr led off the inning with a double and scored off an RBI double by Sigmon.
- The run for run duel halted when WCU starting pitcher Sigmon got back-to-back three up and three down innings on UNCG in the fifth and sixth inning allowing WCU to claim the lead in the bottom of the fifth.
- In the fifth inning, WCU scored four decisive runs which would eventually clinch the game. Salvo led off the inning by being hit by a pitch for the second straight time in the game. Courtney Price followed with a single to right field. Cyr was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Salvo scored off a sacrifice fly by Gibbons to left field. Harkey put the exclamation point on the inning when she launched a three run homerun to right center.
- In the top of the seventh inning UNCG made it interesting. When a lead-off walk to Rachel McClaskey she eventually came around to score off an RBI single by Hagan Kiser to cut the Catamount lead to one, 7-6. With two outs and bases loaded, Sigmon was lifted for Buchanan who forced a groundout to first base ending the inning and the Spartan rally attempt.
Inside the Box Score
- Sigmon got the start and went six and two thirds innings to pick up the win. She allowed six runs on seven hits and struck out six. Sigmon improves to 8-7 on the season.
- Buchanan earned her second save of the season closing out the game in the top of the seventh. - The hits were deadlocked between the two teams at seven each.
- Western Carolina committed two errors in the game.
- Western Carolina won the home run battle in game two with a pair while UNCG had one.
- Sigmon was 3-for-3 at the plate with a homerun, three RBI and a run scored.
News & Notes
- With the doubleheader sweep against UNCG, Western Carolina has secured its second straight SoCon series win. The Catamounts look for its first series sweep on Sunday.
- The Catamounts have won their last four doubleheaders.
- Cyr hit her 10th homerun of the season moving her to a tie for seventh for homeruns in a season. Her 10th homerun of the season moves her into a tie for first place in the SoCon.
- With the three RBI in game two, Sigmon now has 98 in her career. She is one shy of tying the school record for RBI in a career and two away from breaking it.
- With her 10th win of the season, Buchanan became the fifth Catamount pitcher to earn double digit wins for the season joining the likes of former Catamounts like Mendy McKenzie, Jenny Jackson, Jordan Garrett and Lauren Ross.
- Western Carolina is on a four-game winning streak. - UNCG is suffering its longest losing streak of the season having lost three straight.
- Buchanan has won five of her last six starts.
- The 102 strikeouts by Sigmon, this season, is a career high. She becomes the fifth Catamount pitcher to go over 100 strikeouts, in a season, in the program's 10-year history.
- Salvo has reached base safely in the last 12 games. Salvo has also been hit by a pitch 12 times this season which is tied for second in the WCU record books. For her career she has been hit by a pitch 29 times and needs four to break the school record which is 33.
- WCU has 38 homeruns this season ranking tied for third in the WCU record books for homeruns in a season. The Catamounts have hit at least one homerun in 11 of the last 12 games.
Western Carolina completes its three-game SoCon series with UNCG on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at the Catamount Softball Complex and can be seen on the SoCon Digital Network.
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