Catamount Softball sweeps UNC Charlotte

Hunter Gibbons 3 run home run against UNC Charlotte on 3/29/2017. Photo by Hayden McAteer

Western’s Softball team beat UNC-Charlotte twice in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, March 30.

Both games had slow starts by the Catamounts but they rallied in the late innings to be victorious. The first game Western was down 1-0 heading to the bottom of the 5th inning with both teams in a defensive struggle. The only run by Charlotte was a solo home run in the 4th inning. Then Western came alive scoring 5 runs to take the lead and would keep it to win the game.

Senior pitcher Courtney Buchanan tallied four strikeouts in the game while sophomore catcher Madison Armstrong scored a 3 run double in the 5 run inning with bases loaded double.

The crowd in the first game was loud, but in between the games more fans began filing in and became an even better atmosphere for game two.

The second game UNC Charlotte looked to have a sizable lead heading into the bottom of the 6th, leading Western 7-2, but the Catamounts came roaring back scoring 7 in the bottom of the 6th two 3 run home runs, one by sophomore left fielder Hunter Gibbons and another one by freshman first basemen Emily Castro.  Senior 3rd basemen Kara Salvo went 2-3 at batted twice in the 7 run inning. Then Western’s defense held strong in the top of the 7th to take the second game and the series sweep against the 49ers. Sophomore pitcher Shaina Reed, came on in the 3rd inning and stayed on the mound to finish the game and struck out 4.

Westerns fans were ecstatic at the effort and the willpower  displayed in both games by Western. They were loud and proud Catamount ‘crazies,’ as somebody in the crowd put it, and made plans to return this weekend for the next home stand. Western student Clark Yow was one of the Catamount crazies that insisted on getting the stands full.

“The way these girls played today was awesome. I’m definitely going to comeback for as many home games as I can and I’m going to try and get more of my friends here too,” said Yow.

Western Carolina’s head coach Jim Clift was proud of the toughness shown by the players this week.

“We’re going through one of those stretches in the season were your trying to overcome adversity. Over half the team has the flu, getting over the flu or had the flu including the coaches. But they were up the whole game and whatever they had in the tank they gave us 100 percent,” explained Clift.

Softball plays at home again on Saturday, April 1, at 1 and 3 p.m as well as Sunday, April 2, at 2 p.m.