GAINESVILLE, Fla. - After being shutout in the Florida Lipton Invitational opener, falling 2-0 to Western Carolina, the Buccaneers bats came alive in the night cap against Savannah State as CSU salvaged a split on Friday with the 19-11 victory over the Tigers.
Charleston Southern continues play at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium tomorrow as the Bucs take on Western Carolina at 9:30 a.m., while lining up against UNC Wilmington at 4:30 p.m.
Western Carolina 2, Charleston Southern 0 (Box
Charleston Southern fell in the opener at the Florida Lipton Invitational as Western Carolina senior pitcher Amber Steinhardt and two relievers combined to throw a shutout as the Lady Bucs fell to the Catamounts on Friday morning, 2-0.
Charleston Southern (1-3) threatened to bring the game back in both the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings, but were unable to come up with a clutch hit in leaving the bases loaded in both innings in falling to the Catamounts.
Jennifer Giles (0-3) suffered her third loss of the season, going the distance in scattering six hits and two runs, while striking out three.
Steinhardt (1-0) went five innings, allowing four hits for the Catamounts, while Mallory Broome and Jordan Garrett closed out the shutout, with Garnett earning her first save of the season.
After a scoreless first inning, Western Carolina placed two runs on the board in the top of the second. With two outs following a double play, Taylor Sigmon and Megan Crowe hit back-to-back doubles, plating the first run of the game. Amber Kimrey followed with a single to left centerfield, scoring Crowe to double the lead. Giles escaped the inning catching Amelia Griffin looking on a called third strike, but WCU led 2-0.
The Catamounts threatened to blow the game wide open in the top of the fourth as Sigmon opened the frame with a single and Crowe drew a full-count walk. With one out, Griffin reached on a CSU throwing error to load the bases, but Giles rallied back to keep the Catamounts off the scoreboard in getting back-to-back infield popups to keep the score at 2-0 midway through the game.
With the score still at 2-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Buccaneers put their first rally of the game together as Marci Christian and Stephanie Sbardella led off the frame with back-to-back singles, chasing Steinhardt from the game. Jana Matthews followed with a four pitch walk off Broome, loading the bases with none out. The freshman right-hander retired the next three CSU hitters, striking out two, while getting a popup to end the Bucs threat and keep WCU in the lead.
After Giles set the Catamounts down in order in the top of the seventh, thanks in part to a line drive double play, Natalie Yonan opened the inning getting plunked by a Broome pitch. She advanced to second on an illegal pitch, but reliever Garrett retired the next two batters, giving CSU one runner in scoring position with two outs.
Christian and Sbardella kept CSU's hopes alive with Christian drawing a walk, while Sbardella was hit by a pitch, but Garrett retired the final Bucs batter on strikes to earn the save and end the game.
Charleston Southern 19, Savannah State 11 (6 inn.) (Box Score)
The CSU bats exploded in the afternoon game on the first day of the Florida Lipton Invitational, led by senior second baseman Trea Steele and junior third baseman Stephanie Sbardella's combined six RBI as the Buccaneers defeated Savannah State, 19-11, in six innings at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Charleston Southern (2-3) scored five runs in the top of the second, third and sixth innings, and recorded a season high 18 hits in the run-rule victory over SSU Tigers (3-2).
Hayes Holdsworth (1-0) and Linzy Rother combined to go the distance for Charleston Southern on the mound, while Amanda McDowell (1-1) and Cassie Standard took the rubber for the Tigers in the loss.
At the plate, Steele led all players with four hits, going 4-for-6 from the plate with two runs and three RBI. Sbardella added two sacrifice flies and a single in driving in three runs, while Marci Christian went 3-for-5 with a double, two runs and two RBI for the Bucs in the win.
Overall 11 Charleston Southern batters recorded hits in the game against the Tigers, with Rother and MK Parnell both connecting on doubles.
Savannah State started the scoring in the bottom of the first, loading the bases with one out before Amber Hallman drove in the first run on a single to left field. McDowell followed with a sacrifice fly, before Torrian Wright pulled off the steal of home plate to stake SSU to the early 3-0 lead.
The Buccaneers rallied back in the top of the second inning, plating five runs in the frame to take their first lead of the weekend.
Sbardella brought home the first run, drawing a two-out bases loaded walk to score Lizzy Olmstead. An SSU fielding error brought in two more runs, evening the score before Jana Matthews drove in Sbardella and Christian to give CSU the 5-3 lead.
CSU sent 10 batters to the plate in their next at-bat, scoring five more runs to take the 10-3 lead. Courtney Konyk opened the inning with a single up the middle and stole second base, putting herself in scoring position with none out. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, Natalie Yonan brought in the first run after getting hit by a pitch. Steele followed with a two-RBI double to right centerfield, while Sbardella drove the next pitch for a sacrifice fly, giving the Bucs the 9-3 lead. Two batters later, Holdsworth singled in Steele for the final run of the inning.
SSU took one back in the bottom of the inning as Hallman led off the inning with a walk. She was advanced on a sacrifice bunt, before coming around to score on India Morgan's single to cut into the CSU lead.
Charleston Southern plated two runs in each the fourth and fifth innings to increase their lead.
Sbardella brought in the first run with a bases loaded walk in the fourth, while Christian drove in Yonan on a fielder's choice. In the fifth, Parnell followed Rother's double with one of her own for the first run. Yonan drove in Wagner with a fly ball down the left field line to give CSU a commanding lead.
Savannah State battled back in the bottom of the fourth with four runs as Wright, Smith and Morgan plated runs to keep the Tigers in the game.
Wright doubled home Arlona Hagood and Patton, while Smith scored on a throwing error. Morgan drove in the final run, scoring Wright on a single through the left side.
Heading into the sixth inning, with CSU leading 14-8, the Buccaneers scored five runs to push SSU to the brink of the mercy rule.
Christian drove in the first run, following a Sbardella single with a double to the fence in left center, scoring Sbardella from first for the opening run. Jasmine Conley followed with an RBI single, coming around to score three batters later on Wagner's single. Olmstead and Steele added RBI singles to round out the scoring, giving CSU a 19-8 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth.
The Tigers put up a fight in the bottom half of the inning as Morgan drove in the first run of the frame with an infield single. Hallman scored on a wild pitch to put the score at 19-10. Madison Hedderly hit into a double play, scoring Standard on the play for the final run of the game as Rother retired the final batter on a groundout to end the game.