Three-Run 5th Backs Up Dowdy's Complete GameFebruary 10, 2012
by CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Jessica Brock laced a two-run double to left centerfield to punctuate a three-run fifth inning as the Charleston Southern softball team opened the 2012 season with a 3-2 comeback win over Furman at Buccaneer Field on Friday afternoon.
The three-run outburst made a winner of junior Morgan Dowdy, who went the distance and shut down the Paladins after a two-run first inning.
Furman’s Lauren Collier was on cruise control at the outset, retiring each of the first eight CSU hitters she faced. CSU registered a base hit in the third and fourth frames before breaking through in the fifth.
Sophomore Stephanie Sbardella put the wheels in motion with a single and was pinch-run for by Jasmine Conley. Collier secured a strikeout and appeared poised to escape damage but the Bucs struck for a two-out rally.
Conley first advanced to second on a wild pitch, moving to third when Melissa Adams lined a single to left. Megan Lombard sent a sharp grounder up the middle to plate Conley for CSU’s first run of the campaign. That set the table for Brock, who plugged the gap with a two base knock to score two as Lombard raced home all the way from first to account for the final 3-2 decision.
Dowdy got some defensive help to prevent Furman from squaring the tally in the sixth. Jessica Spain stroked a leadoff double and tried to score from second on an infield single by Nikki Legg. CSU freshman Hannah Wagner made a heads-up play at first base, however, coming off the bag to fire a strike home to cut down the potential tying run as catcher Melanie Stickney applied the tag.
Furman threatened again in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with two outs courtesy of two singles and a CSU error. Undeterred, Dowdy buckled down to clinch the victory by inducing a popup from Spain that settled into the mitt of Wagner at first.
Legg set the tone for Furman in the first when she hammered a double to left center and came around to plate the contest’s first run on an error. Jessie Homesley manufactured the Paladins second run for a 2-0 lead with an RBI groundout.
That was all Dowdy would allow on the day as she navigated her way around several jams to keep the Bucs in the contest. Dowdy permitted only the two runs despite yielding 11 hits and a walk while managing to strike out three along the way.
CSU and Furman head back to the diamond for a doubleheader on Saturday at 12 noon at Buccaneer Field. Fans can follow the action through live stats, available here.
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