April 26, 2014
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina softball (18-28, 8-9 Southern Conference) split its Southern Conference Saturday doubleheader with Furman (26-22, 10-6) dropping game one 7-0 before bouncing back to take game two 6-1 at the Catamount Softball Complex.
Furman 7, Western Carolina 0
Furman hurler Lauren Collier tossed a five-hit shut-out, striking out two and gave up one walk to hold the Catamounts scoreless. The Paladins benefitted from two homeruns in the game, including a two RBI shot by Ambree Mueller and a three RBI homerun from Natalie Clemmons.
The Paladins scored two runs in the fourth inning and five in the sixth.
Sophomore pitcher Mallory Broome got the start for Western Carolina and tossed three scoreless innings before giving up a homerun to Mueller for the Paladins' first runs of the game. Broome gave up a lead-off walk to Andrea Abbatello and looked like she might get out of the jam when recorded back-to-back strikeouts. With two outs, Broome gave up the two RBI homerun to Mueller.
Broome tossed five innings, allowing two runs on two hits and struck out six, falling to 1-6 on the season. Freshman Courtney Buchanan replaced Broome in the sixth inning and gave up five runs, four earned, including the three-run bomb to Clemmons.
Buchanan ended the game throwing two innings allowing four hits and striking out one. Western Carolina had scoring chances, leaving four runners on base, but hit into two double plays in the game. The Catamounts had base runners in four of the seven innings including twice having runners at second base.
Collier improved to 15-10 on the season.
Western Carolina 6, Furman 1
After two scoreless innings, Western Carolina used a big four-run third inning to all but put a tight game out of reach. A walk to Amber Kimrey and a single by Griffin opened the third inning. With two outs, starting Furman pitcher Shelby Parker walked Courtney Price to load the bases. Taylor Sigmon laced a two RBI single up the middle scoring Kimrey and Griffin. Heather Chastain followed with a double to left field scoring Price and Sigmon for a pair of RBI.
The run by Griffin gives her 107 in her career and she now needs just two runs to snap the Western Carolina all-time career runs record of 108.
Junior hurler Jordan Garrett tossed six innings for Western Carolina giving up one run on three hits and striking out five. Two of her three hits came in the third inning when she yielded back-to-back singles with two outs.
Garrett's third hit was a homerun by Furman's Abbatello to cut the Catamount lead to 4-1 in the fifth inning.
The Catamounts added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth and took advantage of three Furman errors. Freshman second baseman Lexi Ross led off the inning by reaching on a Furman miscue and moving to second on a wild pitch. Pinch hitter Whitney Haywood also reached on a Furman error and Ross scored on the play. The third Furman error, on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Kimrey, gave her first base and allowed Haywood to score.
Sophomore relief pitcher, and the nation's leader in saves, Sigmon closed out the game entering the contest in the seventh. She shut down the Paladins by striking out the side to end the game and secure the win.
Garrett picks up the win and improves to 9-14 on the year. Parker falls to 6-10. Sigmon also had a pair of hits with freshman Price extended her hitting streak to six with a single in each of the two games.
Western Carolina and Furman will face each other at 1 p.m. Sunday, in the Catamount Softball Complex, in the rubber game of the series. The game is the Catamounts' designated pink game in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game.