March 16, 2019
Softball Strikes Late In Doubleheader Sweep of Tusculum
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba opened South Atlantic Conference softball action with a sweep of visiting Tusculum on Saturday afternoon at Whitley Field. The Catawba Indians won each game in their final at bat, taking game one 3-2 and game two 6-5 in nine innings. The Lady Indians improve to 13-8 overall and 2-0 in the SAC. The Pioneers fall to 9-5 and 0-2.
Tusculum got out quick in game on a two-run homer by Alexis Grampp. That would be all the runs Catawba would allow as Preston Ellenberg and Madison Hunter shut the Pioneers out after the opening frame. Ellenberg went five innings, giving up just four hits with no walks and a pair of strikeouts. Hunter (4-2) got the win with two hitless innings of relief. She walked one.
Jordan Dean came up with a two-out hit in the Catawba first to cut the deficit in half. The Lady Indians tied the game in the fifth with an unearned run as Sierrah McCarthy reached on an error and scored on a ground out by Allie Baker.
It was another Tusculum error in the sixth that allowed the eventual winning run to score. Dean reached on a one-error and was forced at second for the second out. Gracie Gibson came up with the game-winner, collecting a pinch-hit double to put Catawba on top.
Game two was decided in extra innings. Tied at 2-2 going to the eighth. The Pioneers scored its tiebreaker runner on a hit by Taylor Johnson. Catawba pulled even on a sacrifice fly by McCarthy,
In the ninth, Tusculum scored twice with two outs. Singles by Emily Heseter and Grampp pushed the Pioneers up 5-3. The Lady Indians rallied for the win with two outs. Dean doubled home the first run then came around to tie the game on a single by Leah Huggins. After a walk, Carlee Brawley delivered a single to plate Huggins for the walk-off win.
Brooke Walser (4-3) pitched all nine innings to get the win for the Lady Indians. Only two of the runs she allowed were earned as she scattered 10 hits with three strikeouts. Allison Pate (4-3) took the loss in relief for Tusculum.
Brawley led Catawba with three hits in game two. Dean and Taylor Martin each had two hits after getting one hit in the opener.
Hester and Taylor Battle each had three hits for Tusculum in the extra-inning loss. Battle had two hits in the opener. Taylor Piemons (3-3) was the game one loser. She went six innings and allowed just one earned run. She recorded three strikeouts.
Catawba hosts Emmanuel on Sunday as they make up an earlier game postponed by weather. The doubleheader starts at 1 p.m.
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