Charleston Southern Tournament Starts FridayFebruary 23, 2012
by CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Southern softball team looks to get its offense on track this weekend when they host four games as part of the CSU Tournament. Round-robin play begins Friday at 9 a.m. with a contest between Wright State and UMBC, before CSU takes to the Buccaneer Field diamond at 11 a.m. against Wright State. The Bucs will then square off versus Hampton at 3 p.m. to cap day one’s slate, with action continuing on Saturday.
LIVE STATS | GAME NOTES
Bats Betray Bucs vs. Cougars
CSU received strong starts from ace right-hander Morgan Dowdy and fellow junior Linzy Rother, but could not get much offense generated against College of Charleston pitching. C of C junior Stephanie Saylors had a lot to do with that, authoring a complete game to improve to 3-0 in the opener, before coming out of the bullpen to slam the door shut in the finale. CSU could only muster three base hits against Saylors in the first contest, with two coming off the bat of Stephanie Sbardella. Those base knocks moved Sbardella’s hit streak to five games, the longest such run by any Buc thus far this season. The sophomore was a solid stick in the lineup last year as well, hitting .246 with 13 RBI and 15 runs scored to earn 2nd team all Big South honors.
Charleston’s Hope Klicker blanked the Bucs through the first 5.0 innings of the back-end, but ran into trouble in the 6th and was forced from the circle when CSU junior Jana Matthews rapped a RBI double to right-center field. Saylors came on out of the bullpen to stop the bleeding, however, as she followed a walk of Kristin Kelleher with a shallow fly out and two strikeouts to leave the bases loaded. CSU has now been held to two or fewer runs in four of its last five outings.
Rother Trying Her Hand in the Circle
With the ability to swing the bat and log innings out of the circle, CSU junior Linzy Rother offers Head Coach Shane Winkler and Pitching Coach Meredith Felts plenty of versatility. Rother got her first chance to pitch in the nightcap of Wednesday’s doubleheader against College of Charleston, and did a serviceable job. The former North Carolina State hurler worked 4.1 frames, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out four.
Tournament Offers Chance to Take Next Step
Charleston Southern is hoping to take the next step forward in the Big South after back-to-back 3rd place finishes, but can also do so in its home invitational. CSU went 2-2 and advanced to the championship game of the Lowcountry Invitational last year, before falling to USC Upstate. The Bucs went 1-3, meanwhile, in the Buccaneer Invite last season, but the lone victory provided one of the highlights of the campaign. CSU prevailed over ACC opponent Virginia Tech, 10-9, in that one, as Trea Steele smacked a 9th inning RBI single to send the Bucs over the top.
CSU has not met any of its three opponents this weekend, as Hampton comes in to Charleston out of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), while Wright State hails from the Horizon League, and UMBC competes in the America East Conference. Wright State comes in fresh off five games in the Florida Atlantic University Kick-Off Classic, where they compiled a 2-3 record. The Raiders gave No. 11 Michigan a battle in their last contest, however, matching the Wolverines zero-for-zero through the first three frames before the Wolverines pulled away for a 4-0 win. UMBC enters 1-3 sporting a triumph over the Big East’s Seton Hall, while Hampton opened its 2012 campaign with a doubleheader sweep of Oakland on Thursday.
All eight games of the Charleston Southern Tournament are set to take place at Buccaneer Field.
Friday, Feb. 24 Schedule
9 a.m. – Wright State vs. UMBC
11 a.m. – Wright State vs. Charleston Southern
1 p.m. – Hampton vs. UMBC
3 p.m. – Hampton vs. Charleston Southern
Saturday, Feb. 25 Schedule
9 a.m. – Hampton vs. Wright State
11 a.m. – UMBC vs. Charleston Southern
1 p.m. – #3 Seed vs. #4 Seed
3 p.m. -- #1 Seed vs. #2 Seed