March 21, 2015123456789101112RHE
Western Carolina00001001413010184
Win: W. Leon (4-4) 2.020012
Loss: Courtney Buchanan (1-7) 0.112110
N. Fox (ETSU) 633110
C. Pickett (ETSU) 523221
Courtney Price (WCU) 715200
March 21, 20151234567RHE
Western Carolina202300X7133
Win: Courtney Buchanan (2-7) 4.065224
Loss: W. Leon (4-5) 4.0127713
C. Pickett (ETSU) 414100
Emily Helton (WCU) 403000
ETSU opens SoCon slate with split at Western Carolina
Alex Everett
ETSU opens SoCon slate with split at Western Carolina
Saturday, March 21, 2015

Pickett goes 7-for-9 as Bucs split Saturday doubleheader at Western Carolina

CULLOWHEE, N.C. (March 21, 2015) - ETSU Softball opened its Southern Conference slate with a doubleheader split at Western Carolina Saturday, winning a back-and-forth, 12-inning contest in Game One, 12-10, before being edged, 7-5, in Game Two.

Western Carolina senior righthander Jordan Garrett, who entered the weekend owning the second best ERA in the SoCon (2.36), started Game One by tossing six scoreless innings; however, ETSU sophomore Taylor Carter (Brazil, Ind.) enjoyed an equally-stellar start for the Bucs, allowing just one unearned run through her first six frames.

A seventh-inning, RBI single by Nicole Fox (Peachtree City, Ga.) plated the game-tying run for ETSU, forcing extra innings.

From that point on, what had started out as a pitchers' duel became an all-out slugfest.

In five full frames of extra-inning softball, the Buccaneers (11-13, 1-1 SoCon) would go on to score 11 runs to the Catamounts' (9-18, 1-1 SoCon) nine.

Carter singled to left field to score Kelsey Chernak (Ooltewah, Tenn.) in the top of the eighth inning, giving ETSU a brief 2-1 advantage; however, Western Carolina responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning.

ETSU manufactured four runs in the ninth, highlighted by back-to-back, two-out homers by Cassi Pickett (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Danielle Knoetze (San Diego, Calif.), to take a 6-2 lead. Yet, the Catamounts still refused to concede, scoring four times in the bottom of the ninth to match the Bucs.

Pickett, a freshman from Chattanooga, Tenn., has gone 9-of-13 with two home runs and five RBI in her last three games. She leads ETSU with a .397 batting average.

ETSU and Western Carolina traded runs in the 10th inning, making the score 7-7. In the 11th, both teams plated three runs, leaving the game still undecided heading into the 12th.

The Bucs' eventual game-winning run came in the 12th inning on an Alex Everett (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) RBI single down the third base line, scoring Latosha Rectenwald (Morristown, Tenn.). Fox then added an insurance run, hustling to score on a ground out to third by Kelsey Smith (Tucson, Ariz.).

In the bottom of the 12th, ETSU's Whitney Leon (Dandridge, Tenn.) struck out two batters and forced a groundout to shortstop to seal the wild, 12-10 win for the Bucs.

Everett, Smith, Pickett, and Carter each drove in multiple runs for the Bucs in the victory. Meanwhile, Fox, Everett, Pickett, and Carter each recorded multi-hit games.

ETSU, in pursuit of its second doubleheader sweep of the season, owned a 5-2 lead midway through three innings in Game Two after scoring twice in the first and three times in the third. However, the Catamounts rallied to plate two runs in the third and three in the fourth to take a 7-5 lead.

Western Carolina's Courtney Buchanan and Taylor Sigmon then combined to pitch four scoreless innings the rest of the way to clinch the win for the Catamounts.

After starting the season 26-for-26 on stolen base attempts, the Bucs were caught stealing twice Saturday. ETSU entered the weekend as one of just three teams in NCAA Division I to have stolen at least 26 bases while avoiding being thrown out (Arizona: 35, Tennessee: 29).

ETSU and Western Carolina will play a series-deciding, third game Sunday, March 22 at 1:00 p.m.


Sunday, March 22

1:00 p.m. at Western Carolina | VIDEO | LIVE STATS


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