Late Heroics Lift Softball to Sweep of GRU Augusta


SALISBURY, NC -- Late clutch hits by Holli Chandler (New London, NC/N. Stanly HS) and Kelsey Burgess (Charlotte, NC/Gaston Christian HS/N. Greenville) helped Catawba to a doubleheader sweep of visiting GRU Augusta in softball action on Wednesday afternoon at Whitley Field.  The Catawba Indians won by the scores of 4-2 and 8-6 to improve to 15-6 on the year.  The Jaguars fall to 12-19.

In the opener, Chandler smacked a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the sixth to snap a 2-2 tie and provide the winning run.  Burgess beat a lightning delay by minutes, launching a two-out, two-run homer to break a 6-6 tie in the bottom of the fifth of the nightcap.  The game was halted after that inning due to lightning and would not be restarted after heavy rain.

Catawba took the lead in the opener on a two-out, two-run single by Katherine Shumaker (Blanch, NC/Bartlett Yancy HS) in the bottom of the third.  Augusta pulled even on a two-run homer by Casey Rowland in the fifth.  That set the stage for Chandler's big hit. 

Natalie Naturile (Thomasville, NC/E. Davidson HS) led off the Catawba sixth with a single and moved to second on a two-out walk.  Chandler would double into right-center to plate the go-ahead run.  Morgan Brann (Beulaville, NC/E. Duplin HS) scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-2.

Carley Tysinger (Lexington, NC/C. Davidson HS) tied her own school record with 14 strikeouts over six and two-thirds innings.  She fanned the first six batters of the game and scattered six hits to improve to 10-2.

Shumaker and Chandler each had two hits in the win for Catawba.  Mallory Ferguson picked up two hits for Augusta.  Paige Deschaine (6-9) took loss, striking out 10 over her six innings.

The Lady Indians fell behind 3-1 after two innings of the second game.  Brianna Dickens singled home two to put the Jaguars on top after falling behind 1-0.  The Lady Indians answered in the fourth.  Kimberly Fesperman (Kannapolis, NC/S. Rowan HS) doubled home a run with two outs then after a walk and an infield single Tysinger crushed a grand slam to put Catawba on top 6-3.

The Jaguars came right back in the fifth as Rowland tripled with the bases loaded to knot the game at 6-6.  Caroline Turner (Kenly, NC/N. Johnston HS) got the final two outs of the inning to strand Rowland at third and keep the game tied.  Burgess stepped in and beat the weather with her home run to left to give Catawba the sweep.

Burgess was the only Catawba player with two hits in the nightcap.  Ashley Benton had two hits for Augusta.  Turner improved to 4-3 with the win.

The Lady Indians will open conference play on Saturday, hosting Mars Hill at Whitley Field for a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader.

Game 1 Box

Game 2 Box

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