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No. 6 Seed Catamounts Upends No. 2 Seed Furman to Advance in SoCon Tourney

May 11, 2017

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

The Basics:
Score: No. 6 seed Western Carolina 4, No. 2 seed Furman 1
Records: Western Carolina 18-29, Furman 31-23
Location: Chattanooga, Tenn.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - No. 6 seed Western Carolina softball upended No. 2 seed Furman 4-1 Thursday in the first Southern Conference Championship elimination game of the day. The Catamounts will face No. 1 seed UNCG at 5:30 p.m. today.

Turning Point:
Western Carolina scored a run in the third and tacked on a pair of runs in the fourth, weathered a run by Furman in the fifth, and scored a run in the sixth to hold on and defeat the Paladins 4-1.

How it Happened:
After two scoreless innings, Western Carolina senior got things started when she led off the third with a single up the middle. A sacrifice bunt by Shaina Reed moved Salvo to second. Ashlyn Long hit into a fielder's choice, after Courtney Buchanan drew a walk, allowing Salvo to move to third. Salvo scored the first run of the game on a Furman passed ball. The Catamounts added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Courtney Price reached base on a Furman error to start the inning but was erased at second on a Madison Armstrong fielder's choice. Hunter Gibbons followed with a ground-rule double, as her shot took a hop over the centerfield wall, pushing Armstrong to third. Erica Hayes hit an RBI groundout to score Armstrong and Salvo followed with her second single of the day which included an RBI when Gibbons scored. Furman cut the Catamount lead to 3-1 scoring a run in the top of the fifth. WCU added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Armstrong hit a one-out single and scored off an RBI triple by Hayes.

Inside the Box Score:
- Buchanan got the starting nod in the circle and took the win improving to 7-8 on the year. She went five innings, worked around six walks and struck out four.
- Freshman hurler Kinsey Liscio came in and tossed the final two innings earning the first save of her Catamount career. She threw two shutout innings not allowing a hit and struck out two.
- Hayes hit the first triple of her career. With that triple, as a team, the Catamounts have eight this season ranking tied for third in the WCU record books.
- Western Carolina scored its four runs on only five hits. The Catamounts held Furman to two. - Armstrong and Salvo each had a pair of hits in the game.
- The Catamounts had two extra-base hits, with a double and a triple.
- Furman committed one error.

News & Notes:
- Buchanan's start against Furman, in the SoCon Championships, was the first of her four-year Catamount career and just her fifth appearance in a tournament game. It was also her first tournament win, as a pitcher, in her career.
- Western Carolina's 2017 club broke the program record for double plays turned in a season with the Catamounts' 24th of the season, against Furman, besting the 2016's season mark.
- Furman, which garnered co-regular-season champion status alongside UNCG, finishes its season at 31-23 overall.
- The victory over Furman halts the Catamounts' five-game losing streak to the Paladins.
- The Catamounts are 3-6 in elimination games.
- Western Carolina is 5-5 over the last 10 games. Salvo is hitting over 100 points better than her seasonal average with a .343 batting average in the last 10 games. Hurler Liscio is 2-2 in the seven appearances she has moved in the last 10 games and has 22 strikeouts.

Up Next:
Western Carolina will face No. 1 seed UNCG at 5:30 p.m. later today.

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