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Paladins Roll To Doubleheader Sweep of Western Carolina 8-0, 8-0

Casey Bigham
Casey Bigham

Game 1: Furman 8, Western Carolina 0

Game 2: Furman 8, Western Carolina 0


Greenville, S.C. -- Furman softball tossed back-to-back shutouts and tallied 16 runs on 20 hits en route to an 8-0, 8-0 doubleheader sweep of Western Carolina in Southern Conference action on Saturday afternoon at Pepsi Stadium.

With the sweep, Furman upped its record to 33-11 overall and 5-4 in SoCon play, while the two victories improved the Paladins home record at Pepsi Stadium this season to 24-2. Western Carolina slipped to 14-28 overall and 1-10 in league play.

In game one, senior Lindsey Bert hurled a one-hit shutout to earn her 20th victory of the season and Hannah Reynolds belted her seventh home run of the campaign to power the Paladins to an 8-0 decision in five innings.

Bert, 20-8 on the season, fanned nine batters over five innings without allowing a walk to up her nation-leading strikeout total to 258. She faced just one batter above the minimum to improve to 20-8 in the circle.

Furman got on the board in the first inning when Casey Bigham worked a one-out walk and scored from first base on Bert's double to right-center field. Bert advanced to third base on a fly ball to center field and raced home on a throwing error to extend the lead to 2-0.

The Paladins put the game away with five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Marissa Guimbarda opened the frame with a single and Reynolds doubled the lead with a two-run blast to left field off of Catamounts starter Haley Brogden. A pair of walks spelled the end of the afternoon for Brogden in the circle and Caroline Cash delivered an RBI single to greet reliever Kayla Brewer. After another walk, AnnaRose Borrelli looped a two-run single down the right field line to up the margin to 7-0.

Furman polished off the game one victory in the bottom of the fifth when Emma Ogburn's single plated pinch runner Elizabeth Pedersen, who ran for Reynolds after she was hit by a pitch to open the frame.

Cash and Guimbarda each tallied two hits for the Paladins, while Bigham registered a hit and a walk in game one.

Brogden suffered the loss for Western Carolina to fall to 5-6 after giving up six runs on five hits in three innings of work.

In the nightcap, junior Emily DeMonte tossed six shutout innings to guide the Paladins to their second 8-0 victory of the afternoon.

The Sumter, S.C., native scattered three hits over six innings and did not issue a walk to improve to 13-1 in the circle.

For the second straight game, Furman jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the first inning. Cash opened the game with a double and scored when Bigham reached on a sacrifice bunt attempt that was thrown wide of first base. Borrelli produced a single two batters later to drive in Bigham.

After DeMonte helped herself with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the second, the Paladins triggered the mercy rule with a five-run sixth inning. DeMonte walked to open the frame and Emma Ogburn singled ahead of Guimbarda's three-run, pinch hit home run. Bigham singled and scored on Borrelli's double down the third base line before the senior crossed the plate with the final run on Reynolds single up the middle.

Furman totaled 11 hits in the nightcap led by two apiece from Bigham, Borrelli and Ogburn. Bigham scored a pair of runs, while Borrelli and Ogburn each went 2-for-3 with a double.

Kinsey Liscio (4-8) gave up three runs on four hits over one-plus innings of work to take the loss.

Furman and Western Carolina will play the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Pepsi Stadium. Admission is free and the game will be streamed live on the SoCon Digital Network with live statistics available through StatBroadcast. Links for both can be found at FurmanPaladins.com.