April 23, 2008
Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Western Carolina softball (15-33) was swept 5-1, 5-3 by East Tennessee State (26-29) Wednesday at Kiwanis Park.
Western Carolina had a promising start to game one getting back-to-back hits from Jamie Swank and Danielle Reese, but freshman Amber Hawkins lined into a double play and Beth Hauser lined out to centerfield to end the inning.
East Tennessee didn't waste its lead-off hit, scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning. The Lady Bucs scored a single run in the second and third to build a 3-0 lead.
The Catamounts couldn't manage to get a lead-off hitter for the next five innings. The club got a two out hit from Lauren Ross in the second and from Stephanie Beatty and Mollie Fowler in the fourth, but the team couldn't do anything with runners on in either inning. Hawkins hit a one out double in the sixth inning but was stranded in scoring position.
Ross started the game and lasted three innings giving up three runs, falling to 7-16 on the season. Michelle Tating came into the game in the bottom of the fourth and sat down six straight batters before the Lady Bucs hung two runs on her to pull to a five-run lead.
In the top of the seventh inning, Ross made sure starting Lady Buc pitcher Ashley Boyd didn't earn a shutout as she took her one-out offering over the left centerfield wall. It was Ross' third homerun of the year, and 24th of her career.
Western Carolina scored first in the second inning of the second game. Back-to-back singles by Beatty and Fowler coupled with a Lady Bucs miscue, that allowed Ross to reach first, loaded the bases with no outs for the Catamounts. The club could only muster one run as Tating got the first out by grounding into a fielder's choice that forced Beatty out at home. After Nicole Shook struck out, Swank hit a two-out single to right field to score Fowler and plate a run for WCU.
ETSU quickly answered with a run in the bottom of the second to tie the game. The Lady Bucs rallied with three singles with two outs to score a run and knot the game. East Tennessee State exploded for three runs in the bottom of the third to knock starting pitcher Tating out of the game. With one out, Lilly McDonagh came into the game and forced two ground outs to end the inning.
After sitting down five straight batters, McDonagh gave up a homerun to Trisha Massenzo in the fifth inning, for the Lady Bucs fifth run of the game.
Western Carolina attempted a rally in the top of the seventh inning. Swank led off the inning with a single and after Reese flew out to center field, Hawkins drilled a double to left to put runners at second and third. Back-to-back RBI singles by Beth Hauser and Beatty plated two runs for the Catamounts and pulled the club within two runs of tying the game. Fowler's fielder's choice forced Hauser out at third for the second out and a single by Ross to right field loaded the bases. McDonagh had a chance to help her cause but ended the rally with a strikeout.
Tating takes the loss in the second game and falls to 7-8 on the season. McDonagh had a good outing going 3.2 innings in releif allowing one run on three hits.
The Catamounts host Furman in their final Southern Conference home series this weekend. The doubleheader is slated to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday with the single game set for 1 p.m.
Lauren Ross NOTE AT NCAA DOUBLE-A ZONE'S MORNING COFFEE: We can't go too long without some sort of Lauren Ross note. The Western Carolina softball standout has launched a Web site featuring her vocal stylings. Lauren and band mate Casey Melvin have been singing together for about a year and a half. Word out of Cullowhee is that Lauren will be submitting a guest blog soon.