Behind two runs a piece from juniors Allie Cashion and Meghan Smith, the Appalachian State Mountaineers downed UNCG, 6-2 to advance in the winner's bracket of the 2012 Softball Championship at Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium Thursday. Junior Heather Robb blasted a home run in the bottom of the second to left field, giving UNCG a 1-0 lead. The Mountaineers
tied the game after Cashion singled to third. Junior Meghan Smith scored as Cashion advanced to third on a Spartan throwing error. Freshman Riley Carter's sac bunt out to right plated Cashion, giving the Mountaineers a 2-1 lead.
A single from UNCG sophomore Aubrey Baldwin scored freshman Tatiana Alcala, who led off the third inning with a bunt, tying the game at two. In the top of the fifth, Cashion gave Appalachian State a 3-2 lead. Her double to deep left scored Smith for the second time. Carter then doubled through the left side, advancing Cashion. Cashion and freshman Whitney Johnson extended the Mountaineers lead, 5-2, as they both scored off a single from freshman Caroline Rogers.
Freshman of the Year Sarah Warnock reached base on a fielding error, sophomore Racquel Cooke advanced to third, but was thrown out at home. Rogers scored the sixth run for the Mountaineers on that play. Cashion and Rogers each recorded a game-high two hits. Rogers also scored one run for the Mountaineers.
Alcala, Robb, Baldwin and senior Alex Emeterio each had a hit for UNCG. Carter (4-4) gets the win in the circle after relieving senior Caitlin Wainwright. The freshman did not allow a hit and struck out two in 4.2 innings of work. Senior Cory Mattson (13-17) took the loss. She gave up five hits, five runs two of which were earned and struck out one.
Appalachian State improved its record to 22-23 (9-13) and will face Georgia Southern at 7:00 p.m. tonight. The Spartans fall to 21-33 (10-13) on the season and play in this afternoon's 2:00 p.m. game against Samford.
Elon 7, Western Carolina 3
Behind seven runs, the seventh-seeded Elon Phoenix eliminated Western Carolina, 7-3, from the 2012 SoCon Softball Championship. Piazolla Senior pitcher Erin O'Shea singled to left center plating the first runner, sophomore Carleigh Nester, who was walked. Senior Kaitlyn Piazzolla grounded out to second, scoring junior Camille Hill giving Elon an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
Junior Tomeka Watson singled through the left side scoring Nester before Piazzolla blasted a two-run homer to left in the top of the third, extending Elon's lead, 5-0. The Catamounts got on the board in the bottom half of the inning when junior Hannah Pace homered down the left field line. In the top of the fourth, Nester singled to center scoring senior Danielle Lafferty and giving the Phoenix a 6-1 lead. Sophomore Morgan Wyatt answered with a homer over the left field fence adding a run for the Catamounts.
Piazzolla recorded a game-high three RBI in the contest. Catamount pitcher junior Amber Steinhardt singled up the middle scoring senior Erin Foster, bringing Western Carolina within three in the bottom of the sixth.
O'Shea singled to the shortstop, plating sophomore Lauren Oldham giving the Phoenix a four-run lead. Earning the win in the circle was O'Shea (15-14). The left-hander gave up three hits and struck out three. Catamounts starting pitcher Katie King took the loss. The senior gave up seven hits and struck out one. With the win, Elon improves to 23-26 on the season and will face the loser of the Georgia Southern and Appalachian State game tomorrow at noon in the consolation bracket. Western Carolina ends its 2012 campaign with a 24-34 record.
UNCG 6, Samford 5
Despite a late-game rally by Samford, the fourth-seeded UNCG Spartans defeated the ninth-seeded Bulldogs, 6-5 Thursday afternoon at Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium. UNCG grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Sophomore Katelyn Bedwell reached on an error allowing senior Alex Emeterio to score the first run for the Spartans before sophomore Aisha Figueroa crossed the plate.
The Spartans increased their lead by two runs in the third inning. Bedwell reached on an error, scoring sophomore Aubrey Baldwin while freshman Dominique Madruga singled through the right side to bring junior Eileen Horsmon home. Samford's bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game. Freshman Abby Adams singled to right scoring junior Madeline Baker. Freshman Shelby Scott recorded her first hit of the tournament with a three-run homer to right center.
UNCG came back to take a 5-4 lead in the top of the fifth as junior Heather Robb's double scored Bedwell. Bulldog pitcher Robyn Harmon singled out to center with two outs followed by a single from junior Alex Adams. Adams advanced on the throw while Harmon advanced to third. UNCG's starting pitcher Cory Matson loaded the bases with two outs after walking junior Misha Aldridge, but Abby Adams grounded out to Mattson ending the inning.
Baldwin single's in the sixth advanced the runners allowing Alcala to give UNCG a 6-4 lead. Scott blasted her second homer of the game over the center field fence pulling the Bulldogs back within one. Scott tied the league record for most home runs by an individual in a tournament game.
Mattson (14-17) earns the win in the circle. Harmon (5-12), who pitched her third game in two days, takes the loss. Mattson allowed five hits and while Harmon gave up nine hits and struck out eight batters. UNCG improves their record to 22-33 and advances in the consolation bracket and will face the loser of the Chattanooga and Appalachian State game tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Samford ended its 2012 campaign with a 14-42 record.
Photo Courtesy: Allie Cashion, ASU Athletics