Six-Run Rally Gives Softball Split With Mars Hill


SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba split a South Atlantic Conference softball doubleheader with visiting Mars Hill on Wednesday afternoon at Whitley Field.  The Lions won the opener 4-0 behind a one-hitter by Tara West (Urbana, OH), while Catawba claimed a wild 8-6 win in the nightcap.  The Catawba Indians move to 28-15 overall and 5-5 in the SAC, while the Lions are 22-13 and 5-7.

Mars Hill scored the only run West would need in the second inning of the opener.  The first four Lion batters of the frame reached base with Jade Bullins (Danbury, NC) driving in two with a bases-loaded single.  Lindsey Barrier (Salisbury, NC) added a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 edge.

Catawba had only three base-runners over the first six innings.  Kathryn Geouge (Canton, NC/Pisgah HS) led off the first with a walk, Alli Justice (Bishopville, MD/Decatur HS) reached on an error in the second and a Brittney Thornburg (Kings Mountain, NC/Kinsg Mountain HS) broke up the no-hitter with a two-out double in the fourth.

Taylor Morris (Weddington, NC) added a solo homer for Mars Hill in the fourth and West got the shutout, getting a pop up to end the game after runners had reached in the seventh on a wild pitch following a strikeout and a walk.

West improved to 12-6, allowing the one hit with two walks and four strikeouts.  Chelsea Claypole (Versailles, MO/Morgan Co. HS/Three Rivers CC) tossed six innings of solid relief for Catawba.  She allowed one run off six hits with three strikeouts.  Bullins and Amanda McArthur (Charlotte, NC) each had two hits for the Lions in the opener. 

Allie Marshall (Pleasant Garden, NC/SW Guilford HS) gave Catawba the lead in game two with a run-scoring double in the third.  She later scored on a bases-loaded walk to Justice for a 2-0 lead.  Mars Hill scored an unearned run in the fifth then took the lead in the sixth.  A sacrifice fly by Morris tied the game and Kendra Reeder (Duncan, SC) followed with a two-run homer for a 4-2 edge.

Catawba answered right back with six runs in the bottom of the inning.  Justice led off with a double and scored after Mollie Kovalcin’s (Latrobe, PA/Greater Latrobe HS) single was misplayed in center.  A bloop single by Katie Huggins (Oviedo, FL/Lake Howell HS/Lake Sumter CC) tied the game and the Lady Indians went on top when Geouge reached on an error, allowing Amada Terry (Cordova, NC/Richmond Senior HS) to score.  Gibbs padded the lead on a three-run homer for an 8-4 advantage.

The final three runs proved to be the difference as Mars Hill scored twice in the seventh and got the tying runner on first before Sami Santoli (Nesconset, NY/Smithtown West HS) got Morris to strikeout for the final out.  Santoli improved to 2-4 with the complete game win.  She allowed five earned runs off 11 hits with the lone strikeout.  Gibbs had three hits to lead Catawba in the nightcap. 

Game 1 Box

Game 2 Box

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Softball Team Photo