UNCG completes sweep with 4-2 win over Western Carolina

UNCGSpartans.com 04-28-2012
Courtesy: UNCGSpartans.com

GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG completed a three-game Southern Conference sweep of Western Carolina on Sunday, taking a 4-2 win at the UNCG Softball Stadium to even its record in league play.

The Spartans won for the fourth time in five games to improve to 21-29 overall on the season and 10-10 in SoCon play. Western Carolina, which brought a five-game winning streak into the weekend, fell to 21-32 overall and 6-15 in the league. UNCG won both of Saturday's games in walk-off fashion, taking an 8-7 win in game one and a 6-5 win in game two.

UNCG plated an unearned run in the bottom of the first Sunday to quickly take the lead. Aisha Figueroa reached on a bunt single and took two extra bases on a WCU throwing error, and Aubrey Baldwin followed with a sacrifice fly into shallow center to score Figueroa.

The Spartans doubled their advantage in the third on Alex Emeterio's RBI single, which scored Baldwin, who led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch.

The Catamounts pulled even in the top of the fourth. Shemekia Scotton fell into an 0-2 hole to lead off the inning but recovered to single up the middle. Amber Steinhardt then crushed the first pitch she saw out to left center to tie the contest at 2.

Three straight one-out singles in the bottom half of the frame put UNCG back on top to stay. Heather Robb got the rally going with a single to right center and Dominique Madruga blooped a single into shallow right to put a pair of runners on for Toni MacReynolds. The sophomore catcher singled down the right field line to knock in Robb, who made a nifty slide to elude the tag at the plate for the go-ahead run.

UNCG added an insurance run the following inning. Baldwin greeted reliever Jordan Garrett by smoking a double to the gap in left center and later went to third on a wild pitch. Katelyn Bedwell's sacrifice fly in foul ground in left plated Baldwin to make it a 4-2 contest.

Spartan pitchers Cory Mattson (13-14) and Erica Navarette combined to limit the Catamounts to just five hits on the day. Mattson was in control from the get-go, needing only five pitches to work a 1-2-3 first inning. Her only mistake was on Steinhardt's homer in the fourth. She allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in four innings.

Navarette tossed three shutout innings, allowing just one hit and one walk, for her fourth save of the season. She struck out Westerns' Erin Foster, who entered play Sunday with a .374 average and a SoCon-best 17 home runs, to end the contest.

Steinhardt (8-7) took the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits in four innings. Garrett worked the final two frames, allowing a run on one hit, striking out four.

Baldwin and Robb had a double and a single each to lead UNCG at the plate. Emeterio's single pushed her career hit total to 225, just two back of the school record shared by Karyn Thompson and Jennifer Bonilla. Emeterio had four hits Saturday to move her into third in school history in that category.

Morgan Wyatt paced the Catamounts with a 2-for-3 effort.

UNCG hosts Chattanooga for a three-game set next weekend to wrap up the regular season. The Spartans will honor seniors Emeterio and Mattson prior to Sunday's first game.

UNCG 4, Western Carolina 2 (Apr 29, 2012 at Greensboro, N.C.)
Western Carolina.... 000 200 0 -  2  5  2      (21-32, 6-15 SoCon)
UNCG................ 101 110 X -  4  8  1      (21-29, 10-10 SoCon)
Pitchers: Western Carolina - Steinhardt, Amber; Garrett, Jordan(5) and Chastain, Heather.
UNCG - Cory Mattson; Erica Navarette(5) and Toni MacReynolds.
Win-Cory Mattson(13-14)  Save-Erica Navarette(4)  Loss-Steinhardt, Amber(8-7)  T-1:29  A-266
HR WCU - Steinhardt, Amber (6).
Weather: 69 degrees, sunny

- UNCG -



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