May 5, 2012
CULLOWHEE, N.C. -Western Carolina softball (23-32, 8-15 Southern Conference) used a pair off walk-off RBI singles to defeat Samford (13-39, 6-17 SoCon) 2-1, 3-2 Saturday at the Catamount Softball Complex. Catamount seniors Megan Taylor, Bekah Burkett, Erin Foster and Katie King were honored between games.
The Catamounts won game one in the seventh inning and defeated the Bulldogs in eight innings in the second game. Western Carolina's eight wins, in the Southern Conference, are the most by the club since winning nine conference games in 2009.
Game two afforded the chance for Foster to play hero. Constantly earning the manacle of hardest out, and hottest hitter, in the Southern Conference, Foster got her chance to prove that title in the second game of the doubleheader against the Bulldogs. With two outs, Jordan Fultonbeat out a single and then moved to second on a Samford error. Foster took a 2-2 pitch up the middle for an RBI single handing Western Carolina a 3-2 win over Samford.
Foster now has 63 hits for the season, needing just seven hits to tie the single-season hits record at Western Carolina of 70. She also has 53 RBI and has reached base safely in 20 straight games.
After Foster's RBI double put Western Carolina up 1-0 in the fifth inning, of the first game, some of the Catamounts' momentum was deflated in the sixth inning. Western Carolina starting pitcher Jordan Garretthad her shutout attempt squelched when she gave up a homerun to Mischa Alridge to tie the game.
Garrett quickly recovered and held the Bulldogs, setting up the game-winning hit by junior first baseman Kelly Braman. After holding Samford scoreless in the seventh inning, the Catamounts mustered the offense needed to win in the bottom of the seventh.
Freshman catcher Heather Chastain led off with a single and Bekah Burkettcame in and pinch ran for Chastain. With two outs, Fulton reached on an error and Foster was walked to load the bases. Braman made the Bulldogs pay by hitting a single RBI through the right side, scoring Burkett, and giving WCU the win.
Garrett got the win on the mound, tossing a complete game. She allowed one run on three hits and struck out six.
Game two was eerily similar to game one with both teams going scoreless through the course of the first four innings. Catamount junior Shemekia Scotton ending the scoring drought with a solo homerun to left center, to give WCU a 1-0 lead in he fifth inning. Western Carolina tacked on a second run after Chastain singled and then pinch runner Alex Churchscored after a Samford error in the outfield.
Starting pitcher Katie Kinghad a solid outing tossing 5.1 innings. After getting into a bit of the jam, loading the bases in the sixth inning, King was replaced by Garrett, who got two strikeouts to end the Bulldog threat.
Samford scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at two and force extra innings. Garrett would eventually get the win and improves to 11-17 on the season, getting both victories in the doubleheader.
King tossed 5.1 innings of shutout softball allowing four hits and struck out three.
Western Carolina will play its final regular season contest of the season at 1 p.m. Sunday, hosting Samford in the final game of the three-game series with the Bulldogs. The Catamounts will look for its second series sweep of the season.