Softball Earns Sweep of Doubleheader at Carson-Newman


JEFFERSON CITY, TN -- Catawba earned a doubleheader sweep of host Carson-Newman in South Atlantic Conference softball action on Friday afternoon at the Lady Eagle Softball Complex.  The Catawba Indians won the opener 10-8 in eight innings and took game two 4-3.  Catawba improves to 38-13 overall and 6-4 in the SAC, while the Lady Eagles fall to 30-10 and 6-4.  The Lady Indians, who had defeated C-N just three previous times, earn their first-ever sweep of the Lady Eagles.

Jessie Whitesides (Yadkinville, NC) returned to the Catawba lineup after missing three weeks with an illness and connected on a three-run homer in the eighth inning.  It was one of three home runs for the Lady Indians in the opener, but the biggest blow of the game may have been in the top of the first, when a line drive by Jacqueline White (Mt. Ulla, NC) caught Lady Eagle pitcher Stephanie Templeton in the face.  Templeton would walk off under her own power, but was taken to a nearby hospital for x-rays and would not return.

Sophomore Jessie Armstrong replaced Templeton in the pitching circle, but Catawba was able to take advantage of a visibly rattled Lady Eagle squad.  Allie Marshall (Pleasant Garden, NC) followed White with a two-run homer to give the Lady Indians a 2-0 lead.  Ryann Baker (Rockwell, NC) singled home Kathryn Geouge (Canton, NC) to give Catawba a 3-0 lead in the third.

The Lady Eagles bounced back to post runs in each of the next two innings and tie the score.  Jessie Howard led off the third with a triple and scored on a double by Katy Speaks.   In the fourth, Carson-Newman tied the game with a two-out, two-run double by Howard. 

Catawba reclaimed the lead at 4-3 in the top of the fifth on a solo homer by Geouge, but the Lady Eagles went on top in the bottom half of the frame on a two-out error that plated a pair of runs.  The Lady Indians took a 7-5 edge in the sixth with the aide of a C-N error, but the Lady Eagles tied the game in their sixth on a RBI single by Howard, who would later score on a groundout.

In the eighth, Catawba’s first two batters struckout, but Callie Gordy (Oak Ridge, NC) reached on an error and Whitesides followed with the game-winning homer.  C-N scored its automatic runner in the bottom of the seventh to make it 10-8, but it would get no closer.  Rachel Christian (Buckingham, VA) earned the win for Catawba, tossed three innings of one hit relief.

Catawba rallied from a 3-0 deficit in game two to claim the sweep.  After loading the bases twice in the first three innings and failing to score, Whitesides and Geouge singled in runs in the fourth to cut the C-N lead to 3-2.

The Lady Indians tied the game in the fifth on a pinch-hit double by Brittany Thornburg (Kings Mountain, NC) and took the lead in the sixth on a RBI triple by Geouge.  Lindsay Ettinger (Pasadena, MD) pitched the win for Catawba.  She entered to record the final out of the second inning and kept the Lady Eagles off the board the rest of the way.  She allowed just two hits over five and a third innings.

Whitney Hickam's doubled home run in the first while Mandy Stevens followed with a single to give C-N a 2-0 lead after one inning.  Speaks singled home a run in the second to built the Lady Eagle advantage to 3-0.

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Softball Team Photo