April 27, 2013
Mt. PLEASANT, S.C. - Western Carolina softball (18-34, 8-15 Southern Conference) was swept by College of Charleston (32-16, 13-6 SoCon) on Saturday, dropping the first game 9-1 in five innings, and then falling in a heartbreaker in the second game 2-1 at Patriot's Point.
College of Charleston 9, Western Carolina 1
College of Charleston capitalized on a pair of walks, and a hit batter, to post five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Twice with bases loaded the Cougars get a freebie run when Catamount pitcher Jordan Garrett hit a batter for the first run and then walked in a run. Kristy Giragosian cleared with bases with a three RBI double to make the score 5-0.
After holding College of Charleston scoreless in the second inning, Western Carolina avoided a shutout by scoring a run in the top of the third.
Freshman right fielder Amber Kimrey led off the third inning with a bloop single. Junior Amelia Griffin laid down a beauty of a bunt, right in front of the plate, and reached first. With some heady base running by Kimrey, on the Griffin bunt, she moved to third. Griffin follows by stealing her 15th base on the season. Jordan Fulton comes out and gets her second hit of the game, a hit over the Cougar second baseman's head, scoring Kimrey from third. With one out, Amber Steinhardt hit into a double play when she lined out to the short stop and Griffin was thrown out at home.
College of Charleston tacked on two more runs in the third inning. Another two runs by the Cougars in the bottom of the fourth inning and CofC was leading by eight runs to shorten the game to five innings.
The Cougars scored in three of the four innings it was at bat.
Garrett takes the loss and falls to 11-12 on the season. She had four strikeouts in the game and moves her seasonal total to 206 on the year. She needs five strikeouts to break the single-season strikeout record at Western Carolina, which is 210 set by former Catamount Mendy McKenzie in 2006.
College of Charlesotn 2, Western Carolina 1
College of Charleston had only three hits in the game and the third one was most important as the Cougars broke a 1-1 tie, in the bottom of the seventh inning, to win the game. Catamount pitcher Mallory Broome hit Cougar batter Rebecca Mueller to lead off the bottom of the seventh and she moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Carly Corthell lined a shot down the left field side, that just hugged the line and could have been called either way, to score Mueller from second and end the game.
Chandler Frisbee got the College of Charleston's second hit of the game scoring the first run of the game. Broome looked like she had Frisbiee out, with a runner on second and two outs, but the home plate umpire said the foul ball catch that Catamont catcher Heather Chastain hauled in was off the back of the net. That call was costly as Frisbee ripped an RBI single to left field.
Western Carolina answered in the top of the seventh inning, knotting the game at one. Freshman first baseman Karley Harkey led off with a single to right field and moved to second a sacrifice bunt by Amelia Griffin. Jordan Fulton singled and there were runners at the corners. Freshman Taylor Sigmon laid down a perfect grounder first and Harkey scored to tie the game at one. Sigmon got to first after the Cougars threw the ball away from the attempted throw home and Fulton was out at home.
Broome sat down the first six batters, to start game two, before yielded back-to-back walks in the bottom of the third inning. A sacrifice bunt by Cougar Carly Corthell sent the runners to second and third and a great defensive play by Broome, on a bunt attempt, got the Catamounts the second out at first. Broome took the third out in her own hands and she struck out Lizzy Vaughn.
Western Carolina had a huge scoring chance in the top of the fourth inning. Back-to-back singles by Pace and Chastian, with one out, had runners at first and second. A wild pitch by Cougar pitcher Stephanie Saylors moved runners to second and third. Strikeouts by Makenzi McAteer and Karley Harkey ended the threat.
College of Charleston got its first hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning when Chandler Frisbie singled to right center with one out. Maples reach first on a fielder's choice and the Cougars had runners on first and second. A stellar play by Catamount short stop Karley Harkey, getting the force out at second, picked up the second out of the inning. Broome forced Rebecca Mueller to pop up to end the inning.
Another squandered inning for Western Carolina in the top of the sixth inning as the Catamounts stranded two runners. Amber Steinhardt led off the inning with a single to right field and moved to second on a beauty of a sacrifice bunt by Shemekia Scotton. Haley Pace beat out a hit to first and the Catamounts had something cooking. Again Saylors got back-to-back strikeouts to end the scoring chance for the Catamounts.
Broome falls to 5-10 on the season in a solid outing, with a few plays that didn't go her way, allowing two runs, on three hits and striking out four. Cougar pitcher Saylors improves to 14-6 on the season.
Western Carolina out-hit College of Charleston nine to three and did not commit an error in the game. Pace was 3-for-3 in the contest.
The Catamounts and Cougars will face off in game three on Sunday at 1 p.m.