Houser carries a no-hitter through six, Tornados split with Catawba
Lady Indians take game one 11-2, Brevard wins the nightcap, 4-2
Brevard, N.C. - After Catawba took game one of the Monday afternoon doubleheader over the Tornados 11-2, Liz Houser came to the mound for Brevard in game two and pitched six innings of no-hit ball on her way to leading the Tornados to their first South Atlantic Conference victory of the season, 4-2.
The Tornados move to 14-10, 1-3 in the SAC for the season, while Catawba moves to 16-12, 3-1 in conference play.
Game 1: Catawba 11, Brevard 2
Jennifer Brown launched a two-run homerun in the bottom of the fourth, but the Tornados were not able to muster much offense other than that in game one as Catawba starter Chelsea Wallace allowed three hits in the game. Jennifer Gift (7-6) suffered the loss for Brevard, allowing 11 runs, while striking out four.
The Lady Indians opened up the scoring in the top of the second as Callie Gordy reached on a one-out single up the middle. Gordy stole second and Kathryn Geouge walked, bringing up Kristyn Funderburke, who delivered a line drive double to left center, scoring Gordy and Geouge to give Catawba the early 2-0 lead.
Catawba doubled the score in the top of the fourth. Jessie Whitesides reached on a two-out single and scored on Ryann Baker’s double to right center. The next batter, Carly Sabat, reached on a bloop single to left field and Baker scored as the Tornado left fielder misplayed the ball. Gift retired Allie Marshall on a fly ball to right to end the inning with no further damage.
The Tornados got on the board in the bottom of the fourth as Beth Brooker opened the inning with a check swing single back to the pitcher. Kristina Clayton and Chelsi Mallory moved Brooker over to third on grounders, giving way to Jennifer Brown’s blast.
However, Brevard was unable to tally any runs the rest of the way as Catawba scored four in the top of the sixth and three more in the top of the seventh to take the 11-2 win.
Offensively, the Tornados were led by Jennifer Brown with her home run, first of the 2009 season, while Catawba was led by Funderburke who went 2-3 with a double and three RBIs.
Game 2: Brevard 4, Catawba 2
Liz Houser (7-4) carried a no-hitter through the first six innings of game two, before a leadoff single by Sabat in the top of the seventh ended the run. Houser allowed three hits, striking out four on the way to her seventh win of the season. Meghan Cobb took the loss for the Lady Indians, allowing nine hits and four runs, while retiring four Tornados on strikes.
After a one-two-three inning to open the game, the Tornados put a run on the board in the bottom of the first. Brooker led off with a single as she dropped a shallow pop-up that died on the infield clay. Clayton followed Brooker with a check swing bunt that went past the glove of the Catawba third baseman to give Brevard runners on first and second. Mallory’s bunt back to Cobb scored the first Tornado run of the game as Cobb’s throw to first short-hopped the first baseman allowing Brooker to score from third. Cobb retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Houser kept things moving as she faced ten batters in the next three innings without allowing a hit before the Tornados came up to bat in the bottom of the fourth. Brevard loaded the bases as Jennifer Brown reached on a fielder’s choice, Katie Brown singled to right center and Becca Curlee dropped a bunt down the third baseline for a base hit. Cobb retired Maddie Fletcher on a fly ball down the right field line but Katie Thornburg drove a soft line drive up the middle to score Jennifer Brown and Sarah Carlos drove a sharp grounder past a diving Catawba shortstop to drive in Katie Brown and Curlee to open up a 4-0 lead.
Sabat gave the Lady Indians their first hit in game two with a single up the middle. Marshall drove a base hit to right center, moving Sabat to third where she scored on Brittany Thornburg’s sacrifice fly to right field. Catawba loaded the bases as Cassie Markham reached on an infield single and Erin Witalison made it to first on an error by the Brevard third baseman. Houser caught Geouge looking at a called third strike, and after pinch runner MacKenzie White scored on a wild pitch, Houser sealed the win as Funderburke hit a grounder back to the mound.
Carlos led the Tornados offense in game two with her two-run single, while Sabat’s single up the middle to break the no-hitter was the highlight for the Catawba offense in the second game.
Due to the heavy rain this past weekend, the Tornados continue their SAC schedule tomorrow afternoon as they head to Greeneville, Tenn. to take on Tusculum College. First pitch between the Tornados and the Lady Pioneers is set for 2 p.m. Catawba takes a day off before heading to Wingate, N.C. for a conference doubleheader against Wingate, also scheduled for 2 p.m.