May 7, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The No. 6 seeded Western Carolina softball (18-33) dropped a heart-breaker 4-3 to No. 3 seeded Furman (30-24)Wednesday in the opening round of the 2014 Southern Conference Softball Championships. The Catamounts fall to the consolation bracket and will face No. 7 seed Appalachian State 9 a.m. Thursday at UNCG Softball Complex.
The Catamounts jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With two outs, the Catamounts placed five consecutive batters on base via two hits, two hit-by-a-pitch and one error. Kara Salvo was plunked and Taylor Sigmon followed up with a single to board two. Heather Chastain reached on an error to load the bases and an RBI-single from Karley Harkey plated the first run of the game. The second run scored as Amber Kimrey was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
A third Western Carolina run scored in the fourth with two more hits tacked onto its total. Kimrey led off the inning with a single to left-center and Amelia Griffin tripled home the centerfielder, stretching the Catamounts' lead to 3-0. It was Griffin's second triple of her career.
Furman began its comeback in the bottom half of the fourth to cut the Western Carolina lead to one run, driving home two runs on three hits. Elise Smith singled to lead it off and a groundout moved the runner to second. Ambree Muller doubled in the following at-bat to score the first run for the Paladins. Another Furman single - this time courtesy of Andrea Abbatiello - plated its second run of the inning.
Trailing just 3-2 going to the sixth, two hits and an error allowed Furman to jump ahead of WCU 4-3. An RBI-double from Natalie Clemmons tied the game and a throwing error allowed the go-ahead to score.
Starting pitcher Lauren Collier then retired the Catamount side in order to hammer down the win in the top of the seventh. Sigmon takes the loss falling to 2-3 on the season allowing two runs, one earned, and striking out two. Garrett tossed four innings giving up two runs on four hits and struck out four.