Bucs fall to Catamounts, Seahawks on Saturday at Florida Lipton Invitational

Bucs fall to Catamounts, Seahawks on Saturday at Florida Lipton Invitational

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Charleston Southern dropped both contests on the second day of the Florida Lipton Invitational, falling to Western Carolina for the second time on the weekend in the morning competition, 3-0, while UNC Wilmington held off a late CSU rally despite a solo home run by Melanie Stickney as the Seahawks defeated the Buccaneers, 6-5.

The Buccaneers are back in action tomorrow afternoon in their final action of the weekend, taking on host Florida at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium at 3:30 p.m.

Western Carolina 3, Charleston 0 (Box Score)

Charleston Southern fell to Western Carolina in the opening game of the second day of the Florida Lipton Invitational, 3-0. The Catamounts rallied in the top of the eighth inning, snapping a classic pitchers' duel with three runs in the first frame of extra innings to take their second win of the weekend over the Buccaneers.

With the international tiebreaker in play, Western opened the top of the eighth inning with Kimrey on second base. Following an opening strikeout, the Catamounts used back-to-back doubles and a two-out single, doing their damage to hand the Bucs their fourth loss of the season.

Charleston Southern falls to 2-4 overall with the loss, while Western Carolina improves to 5-2 overall in the 2013 season.

Jennifer Giles (0-4) suffered the loss for the Bucs on the mound, carrying a three-hit shutout through regulation before the Catamounts' extra innings run. Garrett (3-2) picks up the win for Western Carolina, striking out 10 in the complete game, two-hit shutout.

The Catamounts threatened in the top of the first inning, placing two runners on with one out, but back-to-back infield popups ended the WCU threat and kept the visitors off the scoreboard.

Garrett and Giles swapped zeros into the fourth, with the WCU right-hander carrying a perfect game through the first 11 batters before Marci Christian snapped the effort, driving a double to centerfield to put CSU in the hits column.

Western Carolina loaded the bases in the top of the sixth as Scotton, Sigmon and Pace reached with two-outs, but Giles was again able to escape the danger with a groundout to the shortstop to stop WCU in their tracks.

The Bucs went down quietly in the bottom half of the seventh inning, setting the stage for Western's bats to come alive in the eighth.

Fulton doubled home Kimrey for the first run, and came around on Scotton's double to left center to put Western up 2-0. After Giles retired Sigmon on strikes, Pace singled in Scotton to give WCU a commanding 3-0 lead.

Charleston Southern mounted a comeback in the bottom half of the inning as Hannah Wagner singled Jasmine Conley to third, giving CSU runners at the corners. However, Garrett retired the next three batters without allowing the run, using a strikeout, fielder's choice and infield popup to complete the shutout.

UNC Wilmington 6, Charleston Southern 5 (Box Score)

UNC Wilmington scored two runs apiece in both the second, third and fifth innings, helping the Seahawks offset Melanie Stickney's first home run of the season and a pair of Stephanie Sbardella doubles as the Buccaneers fell in their final action on Saturday afternoon at the Florida Lipton Invitational, 6-5.

Linzy Rother (1-1) suffered the loss for Charleston Southern (2-5) in the game, throwing 2.1 innings in the start, while Schmidt (2-1) picked up the win for UNCW (4-4), throwing four innings in relief in the win.

After a scoreless first inning, Charleston Southern struck first in the top of the second as Rother drew a leadoff walk. With Courtney Konyk in to run, Hannah Wagner sacrificed her over. Konyk showed her speed, stealing third base before coming around to score on Hayes Holdsworth's RBI single to put CSU ahead 1-0.

The Seahawks battled back to take the lead in the bottom half of the frame as UNC Wilmington loaded the bases with one out. Matkins singled in the first run on a bunt to the shortstop, while Phillips scored on a wild pitch to give UNCW the 2-1 edge.

CSU responded with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Sbardella recorded her first double of the game, following Trea Steele reaching on a hit by pitch with a drive to centerfield, giving CSU two runners in scoring position with zero outs. Marci Christian singled in Steele and Sbardella came around to score on a wild pitch as the Bucs retook the 3-2 lead.

The Seahawks plated two more of their own in the bottom half of the frame as Moose followed Buckworth's single with a home run to centerfield, batting Rother to a full count before her blast.

Sbardella and Steele combined on the Bucs fourth run of the game as Steele reached on a one out single to right field in the top of the fifth inning. Sbardella followed with a double in the left centerfield gap, scoring Steele from first, and the junior third baseman alertly took third base on the throw. However, the CSU rally fell short of retaking the lead as Wilmington retired the final two batters to end the inning.

UNC Wilmington took their final lead of the contest in the bottom half of the fifth inning as Moose followed a Buckworth walk with a single to right field, and both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt. Brown brought the go-ahead run in on a bunt, while Moose scored an insurance run on a passed ball to put UNCW up 6-4 after five.

The Bucs battled back in the top of the sixth as Stickney drove a 2-2 pitch over the fence in left centerfield for her first home run of the season, cutting the Seahawks lead in half.

After reliever Jennifer Giles shutout the Seahawks in the bottom of the sixth, Steele led off the final frame with a double to left centerfield. The senior second baseman was stranded in scoring position though, as the Schmidt retired the final three batters on fly balls, ending the game.

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