April 12, 2012
CULLOWHEE, NC. - Western Carolina softball (16-26) hit four homeruns in the Catamounts' 13-3, 6-5 sweep of Alabama State (12-27) Thursday, in its Strikeout Cancer event, at the Catamount Softball Complex.
The Catamounts scored 10 runs, in the second inning, to help propel the team to a double digit, 13-3 five-inning win over the Lady Hornets in the first game. It was the most runs Western Carolina has scored in an inning this season.
Alabama State took the short-lived lead in the first inning, scoring one run. After a scoreless first inning, Western Carolina was ready to explode.
Amber Steinhardt started the scoring bonanza, in the second inning, by drawing a walk. Kelly Braman followed with a single, and after moving to second and third on a ground out by Shemekia Scotton, Steinhardt scored on a beauty of a bunt single by Heather Chastain to tie the game. But Western Carolina wasn't finished just yet.
With one out, Makenzi McAteer and Amelia Griffin hit back-to-back RBI singles scoring Braman and Chastain for a 3-1 Catamount lead. Jordan Fulton singled and McAteer scored on a throwing error which brought up Erin Foster, who hit a base-clearing double, scoring two runs. With two outs, Steinhardt was back up to bat and her single past third base scored Foster. Braman got her second hit of the inning, an RBI single to right field which scored Steinhardt. Scotton capped of the inning with a three run homerun to right field.
Alabama State bounced back for a run in the fourth inning to make the scored 10-2.
Western Carolina tacked on three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Steinhardt led off the fourth with a solo homerun to left field. A walk by Ashley Jones and a bunt single by Scotton set up the final two runs of the game. Chastain hit a double past second base to score Jones and Griffin singled to second base to score Chastain after Scotton was thrown out at home on the previous play.
Alabama State got one more run in the fifth inning to make the final score 13-3.
Jordan Garrett, who improves to 6-13, got the start and the win in the game, She tossed three innings allowing just one run on two hits and struck out one. Megan Taylor came into the game in relief in the fourth inning allowing two runs on three hits and got two strikeouts.
The 13 runs scored by Western Carolina were a season-high for the Catamounts. Chastain led the Catamounts with three hits. Griffin, Foster, Steinhardt, Braman and Scotton each had two hits.
A pair of homeruns and a six-run first inning was just enough to give Western Carolina the win in game two. Foster hit the first of the two long balls in the inning, a two-run shot over left center field. It was Foster's 13 homerun of the season, which now leads the Southern Conference. Haley Pace put an exclamation on the inning with a grand-slam. It was the Catamounts second grand-slam of the season and Pace's fifth homerun of the year.
Alabama State would make the game interesting, scoring two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth inning. Starting pitcher Steinhardt went four innings before she was replaced by Garret in the fifth inning. Garrett got the Catamounts out of the inning, but not before the Lady Hornets scored the three runs.
The game looked like it was going to get interesting in the seventh inning. With the Catamounts holding onto a 6-5 lead, Alabama State got the tying run and go-ahead run on base with no outs. Courtney Crossley laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third with one out. Megan Dixon came up and hit a fly ball to shallow left field, which had Foster sliding to make the catch. It seemed Alabama State had tied the game when Brehanna Rodrigues went home, however, she was called out for leaving early when she attempted to tag the bag after the fly out.
Steinhardt got the win and improved to 6-6. Garrett picked up her third save of the season. Griffin and Braman each has a pair of hits in the game.
Western Carolina heads back on the road this weekend for a Southern Conference series at Chattanooga. Game time for the Saturday twin-bill is 1 p.m.