April 22, 2012
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina softball (19-29, 6-12 Southern Conference) earned its first Southern Conference sweep of the season defeating Elon (20-17, 8-10 SoCon) 10-3 Sunday at the Catamount Softball Complex.
It is the second series Western Carolina has won this season. The Catamounts took two out of three games against Fuman on March 31 and April 1.
The Catamounts scored in five of the six innings and scored multiple runs in four of the five innings. WCU also out-hit Western Elon nine to seven.
Western Carolina's heavy hitter Erin Foster was held hitless in the game, snapping a 12-game hitting streak, but only because she was walked twice and hit by a pitch. The Catamount offense backed up Foster as she scored all three times she was placed on base. Foster has now reached base safely, either by a hit or a walk, in 13 straight games.
Kelly Braman was instrumental in the Catamounts' Sunday win over the Phoenix. It was Braman's two-run homerun, her fourth of the season, that gave WCU an early 2-0 lead. With two outs, Elon elected to unintentionally, intentionally, walk Foster to bring up Braman, who took the first pitch by Elon pitcher Erin O'Shea over the left field wall.
Elon tied the game in the top of the second on a two RBI triple by Camille Hill.
The Phoenix tacked on a single run in the top of the third to build a short-lived 3-2 lead. It would be the only lead the Phoenix would enjoy in the game.
Western Carolina re-took the lead for good in the bottom of the third. Jordan Fulton started it off with a one out single. Foster drew her second walk of the game and Braman was also walked to load the bases. A throwing error by Elon, after Shemekia Scotton flied out to right field, scored Fulton to tie the game at three. Amber Steinhardt followed with a two RBI single to right field plating Foster and Braman.
Elon's second error of the game gave Western Carolina a run in the fourth inning. Amelia Griffin walked and stole second and scored on a Phoenix error that allowed her to score and Fulton to reach first.
The Catamounts tacked on a pair of runs in the fifth and another deuce in the sixth. Both runs in the fifth were scored on an Elon error.
In the sixth, WCU got two quick runners on board when Fulton singled and Foster was hit by a pitch. Braman got her third hit of the game when she hit an RBI single to score Fulton and Scottton followed with a RBI single past third base.
Katie King got the start in the game. She tossed two solid innings giving up two runs on two hits and struck out two. She gave up a lead-off walk in the top of the third inning and was relieved by Jordan Garrett with the score tied at two. Garrett got King's runner out on a fielder's choice but would up giving up one run in the top of the third to give Elon the lead.
Garrett would settle down ending up tossing five innings, allowing one run on four hits and struck out six. Garrett improves to 8-15 on the season.
Braman had three hits in the game and three RBI, she also scored two runs. Fulton and Scotton each had a pair of hits in the game.
Western Carolina heads back on the road this week. The Catamounts play at North Carolina A&T on Thursday before going to UNCG on Saturday for a three-game series.