Catamount softball splits games in opening weekend

Catamounts softball huddles up before going to bat against the Rockets, Feb. 25, 2017. Photo by Hayden McAteer.

Western Carolina softball finishes 2-2 after their first tournament in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The Catamounts started off the weekend hot with a 14-0 victory over the Howard Bison. The game was cut short due to the run rule, eight runs after five innings. Sophomore left fielder Hunter Gibbons contributed with a grand slam in the second inning backed up by a solo home run off the bat of senior outfielder, Courtney Price.

The second game for Western was against Delaware State and the hot streak continued for Hunter Gibbons as she hit a 2 run homer in the top half of the first inning. Freshmen utility player Emily Weatherman took advantage of her opportunity to pinch hit in the top of the seventh with a big RBI single to get the lead back to 2. Senior pitcher Courtney Buchanan got on the mound in the fifth inning striking out three batters in three innings.

Saturday action started off against the Toledo Rockets. The Catamounts started off hot again, scoring two runs in the bottom half of the first, but Toledo responded with four unanswered to win the game. Courtney Buchanan started on the mound for the Catamounts, striking out four in 4 innings of play.

The Catamounts final game was against tournament hosts USC Upstate with a tough loss that came down to the wire with a final score of 2-1. Senior Courtney Price scored the lone Western run by way of a homer in the top of the 7th.

WCU head coach, Jim Clift, was proud of this young team following the tournament.

“The pitching was fantastic all weekend. Our defense was spectacular with our catcher Madison Armstrong throwing out 3-4 attempting to steal 2nd base. We only had one error the entire tournament. But we have to work on our consistency with this young team,” Clift said.

Senior Courtney Price added, “We played really well and had a good weekend, we have to keep executing and stay consistent. We have to keep our energy up throughout the whole game and play hard until the last out.”

The Catamounts next game is a return trip to USC Upstate on March 1, at 4 p.m.