Winthrop softball captured a 5-4 win in eight innings and a 3-1 win in the nightcap to earn a doubleheader sweep over Western Carolina, Wednesday evening at Terry Field in non-conference action.
The Eagles have now won three straight and improve to 26-21 overall while the Catamounts fall to 17-27.
After winning the first game of the day in extra innings on a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Eagles received a strong pitching performance from sophomore Dallas King as she tossed just 56 pitches in a complete game effort allowing no earned runs on four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. King is now 4-3 on the year.
King got all the run support she needed in the first inning when freshman Megan Winningham launched a two-run home run for a 2-1 lead. Naomi Stevens, who was hit by a pitch, scored on the long ball. Freshman Maddie Antone, who finished the second game 3-for-3 at the plate, added an insurance run with a solo homer to left center in the second inning.
In the opening game of the day, the Eagles rallied three times with the third and final time giving them the victory.
A couple of RBI singles in the top of the second put Western Carolina in front 2-0, but the Eagles came back to tie the game in the bottom of the third inning. Sara Allen, who started the game in the pitching circle for the Eagles, led off the third inning with a solo blast to right center. Mel Andrea came through with a two-out RBI as she doubled to right center and McKenzi Corn hustled around the bases to score from first.
Western Carolina grabbed the lead again in the fifth as Taylor Sigmon led off with a double to center and moved to third on a wild pitch. Sigmon then scored on a sacrifice fly to left off the bat of Karley Harkey.
Kelsey Ritter’s double in the sixth tied the game at 3-3 and Western Carolina then scored one run in the top of the eighth as the teams entered extra innings using the international tie breaker.
Winthrop loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth and Paige Haley walked to tie the game before Allen walked to score the winning run.
Allen tossed a complete game allowing four runs on 12 hits with four walks and five strikeouts to earn her 12th win of the year.
With her homer in the second game, Winningham extended her hitting streak to six games while Andrea has now hit safely in five straight. Antone finished the day 3-for-6 while Andrea and Winningham had two hits.
Winthrop will be back in action this weekend as it remains at home when it hosts Coastal Carolina for a key three-game Big South Conference series. The series will open on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. The final game will be played Sunday at 1 p.m. as the Eagles will honor their seniors prior to the first pitch on Sunday.