The Lady Catamount softball team traveled Charleston to take on the Cougars of the College of Charleston on Saturday, Mar. 28 and Sunday, Mar. 29 and got back to their winning ways in the Southern Conference.
Coming off two mid week losses to Lipscomb and sitting at 4-4 in conference play, the Cats got off to a rocky start in the first game of the three game set, but settled down by the end of the series.
Western Carolina dropped the first game in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon 4-1. The Cougars were able to hold the 7 hits in the game while the Cougars tallied 10 hits and pushed four runs across the plate. Pitcher Terri Mesko was dominant in the first game for the Cougars, getting the complete game and striking out five Catamounts.
In the second game of the day, the Lady Catamounts rebounded offensively and beat the Cougars 8-4. WCU got a strong outing from senior Lauren Ross who recorded her fifth win. At the plate, Western was lead by Chelsea Schaffer who went 4-4 at the plate and drove in three runs, scored three times and for only the second time in her career hit a home run. Schaffer, total, accounted for six of the eight runs that the Catamounts scored on the day.
The Lady Catamounts got on the board early in the second game using timely hitting, aggressive base running and a Cougar error to put up two runs in the first inning and kept adding on to their lead in the second, adding two more runs. The Cougars also recorded two runs in the second inning but were never able to get any closer to Western, who added to their lead in the fourth when Schaffer hit a two run home run.
The series finale was anything but a pitcher duel as the Lady Catamounts and the Cougars went toe-to-toe for seven innings until Western Carolina broke a 14-14 tie in the eighth inning. The eighth inning started with a single by Schaffer.
Amber Hawkins then came to the plate and hit a hard line drive that landed in center field and allowed Schaffer to score all the way from first; however Hawkins, being a little too greedy, was thrown out at third trying to get a triple. The 15-14 lead was Western’s second of the game, the first one coming only an inning before in the top of the seventh. The Cats could not make the lead stick as they gave up the tying run in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.
WCU got strong hitting performances throughout their lineup getting three hit performances from five different players. Western recorded 18 hits in the series finale, a total that was matched by the Cougars. The series win for Western was their second in conference play and they improved their SoCon record to 5-4 and 9-18 overall.