April 9, 2011
Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score | Photo Gallery Steinhardt Interview About Win (VIDEO)
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Each team earned a shutout as Western Carolina softball (18-24, 3-11 Southern Conference) and Appalachian State (14-17, 7-5 SoCon) split the doubleheader Saturday at the Catamount Softball Complex. The Catamounts won game one, 4-0 and the Mountaineers took the second game 11-0.
Sophomore Catamount hurler Amber Steinhardt tossed a dandy in the first game, earning her second shutout of the season. She allowed seven hits, recorded four strikeouts, and improves to 9-8 on the season.
Steinhardt got some clutch play behind her to assist in the win against Appalachian State. The defensive effort included a double play in the first inning to end an Appalachian State threat.
The Mountaineers looked poised to strike first in the opening inning, with back-to-back singles. Steinhardt forced a fly-out to right field for the first out and got out of the jam thanks to a heady play by centerfielder Erin Foster. Allie Cashion hit a rope to centerfield, forcing Foster to dive for the out, and she quickly tossed the ball to the second baseman Robyn Burnette to get the runner at second for the double play.
After going scoreless in the first two innings, Western Carolina got on the board in the third inning. Burnette led off the inning with a double down the left side and moved to third off a sacrifice bunt by Amelia Griffin. With two outs, sophomore Jordan Fulton chopped a single over the third baseman's head to score Burnette and earn an RBI.
Steinhardt cruised through the second and third innings but found her self in a bit of a pickle in the fourth inning. With two outs, she yielded three straight singles to load the bases. She got out of the inning when Steinhardt forced Michelle Lighton to ground out for the third out.
Western Carolina added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
With two outs, junior centerfielder Erin Foster started a rally with a double to the left side in the fifth inning. Foster scored off an RBI single by Haley Pace past the third baseman.
The Catamounts tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning. Morgan Wyatt hit the third double by a Catamount, in the game, to start the sixth. Shemekia Scotton followed with a single to left centerfield which scored Wyatt. Scotton scored off an error by the Mountaineers after Kelly Braman hit a single.
A close game went south for the Catamounts in the second game. Starting pitcher for WCU Katie King, gave up one run in the first inning, but held tight for three innings before the Mountaineers exploded.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, after Wyatt hit a lead-off single, the game was delayed due to lightning in the area. The inning halted with Scotton at the plate and a 1-2 count. Scotton struck out and Steinhardt hit into a double play to end the inning.
It seemed the delay was just what Appalachian State needed as the Mountaineers scored five runs in the fifth and sixth innings. The five spot in the pair of innings shortened the game to six innings.
King was replaced by Bekah Burkett in the fifth inning. King took the loss and falls 8-11 on the season.
Western Carolina and Appalachian State will play the rubber game at 1 p.m. Sunday.