UNCG upsets top-seeded Western Carolina in SoCon Softball Tournament
CHATTANOOGA, TN – Hannah Angel tossed a complete game and stranded 11 runners in the process to lead eighth-seeded UNC Greensboro to a 5-3 victory over No. 1 seed Western Carolina in the Southern Conference Softball Tournament at Jim Frost Stadium on Thursday morning.
The win marked the first time since the field expanded to eight teams in 2001 that the No. 8 seeded team has beaten the top-seed in the SoCon Tournament.
In addition, the victory was the first for UNCG (20-40) in the postseason since beating UNC Wilmington 5-0 in the 2003 SoCon Tournament, snapping a six-game losing streak overall in league postseason play.
Angel, the freshman from Eastbend, NC, scattered six hits and allowed two earned runs over the distance to improve her record to 7-17. She also struck out six and walked five Catamount hitters.
Western Carolina (41-19) took a 1-0 lead on a Samm Keppel RBI double in the bottom half of the second inning. The Catamounts looked to add a couple more runs, but Ashley McCubbins stranded two runners in scoring position after flying out to center to end the inning.
The eighth-seeded Spartans quickly responded by putting together six hits and scored four times in the third inning off SoCon Pitcher of the Year Mendy McKenzie. Adriane Audley smacked a two-run home run off the top of the fence in right to give UNCG a 2-1 lead. Leslie Furness and Vanessa Oakes later added run-scoring singles to give the underdog Spartans the 4-1 lead.
The Catamounts got a run back in the bottom of the third to cut the Spartan lead to 4-2.
The top-seeded Catamounts mounted another rally in the fourth by loading the bases without the benefit of a hit, but Angel worked out of it by stranding all three runners to keep the Spartans ahead.
Krista Judge pushed across an insurance run in the sixth with an RBI single to make it a 5-2 advantage for the Spartans.
That run proved to be very important as Western’s Ashley Adams laced a single up the middle in the bottom of the sixth to plate McCubbins for a 5-3 UNCG lead. The Catamounts looked for more in the frame with runners still on the corners, but Angel struck out Jenny Jackson swinging on a 3-2 fastball up in the zone.
McKenzie’s record fell to 22-7 on the year after being touched up for four runs on nine hits over 3.0 innings.
Audley paced a 13-hit attack for UNCG by going 3-for-4 with a run scored, her fifth homer of the year and knocked in a pair of runs. Judge, Furness, Oakes and Kara Clouser each added two hits apiece for the Spartans.
Jackson went 2-for-4 and pitched the final 4.0 innings in relief for Western Carolina.
Line Score 123 456 7 R-H-E
UNCG 004 001 0 5-13-2
Western Carolina 010 100 0 3-6-0
UNCG: Hannah Angel and Leslie Furness Western Carolina:
Mendy McKenzie, Jenny Jackson (4) and Allyson McCubbins
W: Angel (7-17). L: McKenzie (22-7). SV: None.
- UNCG -