- Daniel Hooker
WCU Softball Bashes Way to Sweep at Gardner-Webb
The Western Carolina softball team scored 23 runs and smacked a combined 20 hits as the Catamounts earned a doubleheader sweep of Gardner-Webb on Tuesday at Brinkley Softball Stadium. The Catamounts earned a 7-3 win in the opener before scoring a season-high 16 runs with two grand slams in five innings in a 16-4 triumph in the nightcap.
WCU improves to 9-12 on the season while Gardner-Webb drops to 11-21.
WCU opens both the home and Southern Conference portion of its schedule this weekend with a three-game series against Furman. All three games are scheduled to be streamed on ESPN+ (paid subscription required) with free live stats available on CatamountSports.com.
Game 1: Western Carolina 7, Gardner-Webb 3
Mattie Mentel collected three hits including a pair of doubles and Myra Twitty homered as the Catamounts took the opening game of the doubleheader on Tuesday, 7-3.
WCU got on the board in the second inning as Mentel’s first double of the game plated Samantha Reele. In the third, Twitty hit her team-leading fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot for a 3-0 Catamount lead.
In the fourth inning, WCU added a run on as a result of a Gardner-Webb error. In the bottom half of the frame, the Runnin’ Bulldogs scored two runs to trim the WCU lead to 4-2.
Both teams tallied a run in the fifth inning as Twitty scored on an error with Adrienne Visintine’s double bringing in a run.
Mentel brought home a pair of insurance runs with a two-out double in the seventh inning for the game’s final score.
Taylor Norton (3-3) earned the win, allowing two runs on six hits in 3.2 innings. Tessa Juett recorded her first save of the year, striking out six batters in 3.1 innings while allowing one run on four hits.
Visintine, Ella Christopher, and Kiara Kennedy led Gardner-Webb offensively with two hits each, but Gardner-Webb left 10 runners on base. Kalyn Kyle took the loss after she allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits in four innings.
Game 2: Western Carolina 16, Gardner-Webb 4
WCU scored a season-high 16 runs including an eight-run fifth inning to power past Gardner-Webb and the doubleheader sweep with a 16-4 victory in five innings.
The Catamounts got on the board early as Natalie Henry reached on a one-out single and scored on a Myra Twitty sacrifice fly. WCU added two runs in the second inning as Brooklynn Brewington laced a two-run double with two outs for a 3-0 lead. Gardner-Webb answered with four runs in the bottom half of the frame with three runs scoring on a home run by Adrienne Visintine.
In the home half of the third inning, Gardner-Webb loaded the bases with two outs, but Mackenzie Martin got out of trouble with a strikeout to keep WCU within a run.
The Catamounts rode the moment to score five runs in a decisive fourth inning. Brewington tied the game at 4-4 with a single before Bailey Huneycutt belted a grand slam for an 8-4 lead.
After taking advantage of a Gardner-Webb error for a run, Natalie Henry hit the second grand slam of the game for WCU to give the visitors a 13-4 lead. Later in the inning following a sacrifice fly, Riley Lambert hit a two-run blast for the final runs of the game.
Henry and Huneycutt both hit a grand slam and finished with four RBI. In addition to Huneycutt’s three hits, Bailey Treadway finished 3-for-4 with three singles. Lambert, Henry, and Brewington each finished with two hits. The 16 hits for the Catamounts are a new season-high.
Martin improved to 1-1 on the season, allowing four runs, three earned, on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings.