The UNCP softball earned their first shutout of the season (8-0) on Feb. 9 in the second game of the series against Catawba.
The Lady Braves fell 6-4 in the first game. The Black and Gold came into the series having lost four in a row after starting 2-0 on the season. They’ve struggled to produce runs in all of their losses, not being able to score more than three in each contest.
They broke that trend against Catawba scoring above three runs in both games. Cara Davis led the offense in the first game, while third basemen Jamie Johnson led the eight-run onslaught in the second game.
The Black and Gold looked great late in the first game against Catawba on Feb. 9 on the UNCP Softball Field. They were up 3-0 heading into the seventh inning and Malerie Leviner was pitching a shutout for the Lady Braves, but the lead wouldn’t last much longer.
Leviner gave up a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to make the score 3-2 and was relieved by pitcher Raygan Larson to try and soften the blow and close the game. Larson eventually gave up four more runs (three earned) in three atbat to lose the lead and put UNCP down 6-3. Leviner would eventually be entered back into the game to finish off the seventh and stop the rally from the Indians.
The Lady Braves didn’t go down without a fight in the bottom of the inning. After a leadoff single by right fielder Rendi Wetherington, Cara Johnson advanced her into scoring position on an 0-2 groundout, and she eventually came around to score off of a Taylor Gerhart double.
That would be all the noise they would make though, as UNCP went on to lose 6-4. The second game was eerily similar to the first as the Lady Braves were up 3-0 at the end of the top of the sixth frame, thanks to a first inning three run home run by three-hole hitter Jamie Johnson.
Starting pitcher, Breezy Yelton, was pitching a shutout as they changed the script in the bottom of the sixth inning. Instead of not scoring any runs, the Black and Gold poured on five runs in the bottom of the inning to force a mercy rule victory over the Catawba Indians.
The Lady Braves just kept knocking in runs off singles, and they were playing station to station on the base paths. Catawba had no answer for them.