CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern fell in the opening game on the final day of the College of Charleston Cougar Classic to South Carolina, and electrical failure created a power outage in the outfield lights, calling the final game of the weekend against host CofC in the bottom of the first inning as the Buccaneers finished up the weekend with a 1-1 record.
In the second game, with the Buccaneers holding the 2-0 lead in the first inning, electrical failure caused both sets of outfield lights to be shut off simultaneously, and after a 45 minute delay as the CofC grounds crew worked to get the power back on, a decision was made to call the game in the interest of player safety on the field. The game will be made up later this season at a to-be-determined date, with the teams starting over from scratch.
Also, with the threat of rain at 100 percent for Tuesday's scheduled doubleheader between Charleston Southern and College of Charleston at the Patriots Point Athletics Complex, the games have been cancelled and will be made up at a later date when both teams have openings in their respective schedules.
Charleston Southern will be back in action next weekend as the Buccaneers host their annual Buccaneer Invitational at the CSU Softball Field running from March 1-3. Charleston Southern hosts Tennessee, Valparaiso and UNC Wilmington during the three-day tournament, with the Bucs first taking the field against Tennessee on Friday afternoon, with first pitch at 3 p.m.
South Carolina 17, Charleston Southern 3 (Box Score)
An eight-run top of the fourth helped South Carolina offset home runs by Marci Christian and Stephanie Sbardella as the Gamecocks defeated the Buccaneers at the Patriots Point Athletics Complex, 17-3.
Christian plated the first two runs of the contest for the Buccaneers with a game-tying two-run blast to straightaway centerfield, while Sbardella went deep with her second home run of the season to left field in the third inning for the Bucs in their first action of the final day of the CofC Cougar Classic.
Charleston Southern falls to 3-7 overall on the season with the loss, while South Carolina improves to 8-3.
The Bucs defense struggled from the field in the game, committing six errors in the contest as South Carolina took advantage of the fielding miscues, plating eight unearned runs in the contest.
Jennifer Giles (1-5) suffered the loss for the Buccaneers on the mound, pitching 3.2 innings, allowing 12 hits while striking out five. Hayes Holdsworth closed out the game on the mound, hurling the final 1.1 innings in relief
The beneficiary of the USC offense run support, Katie Marks (3-1) took the win for the Gamecocks, going the distance in allowing three runs and two hits, while striking out seven in the game.
Samie Garcia opened up the game with single up the middle and on Giles' second pitch to Alaynie Page, stole second. The throw down to second sailed into centerfield and through the CSU centerfielder, allowing Garcia to score from first for the opening run of the contest. Page came around to score later in the inning, scoring on a CSU throwing error to put the Gamecocks ahead early.
The Bucs rallied back in the bottom of the inning as Sbardella kept the frame alive, getting hit above the elbow with two outs to reach base. Christian jumped on the first offering from Marks, driving the ball over the fence in straightaway centerfield, left of the flag pole to knot the game up at 2-all.
The deep ball highlighted the third inning as Ansley Ard connected on a grand slam, driving a 2-0 pitch over the fence in left centerfield, scoring Chelsea Hawkins, Kristen Struett and Ashlyn Masters to put the Gamecocks ahead 6-2.
Charleston Southern battled back with one in the bottom half of the frame as Sbardella connected on a two-out solo home run, driving the ball out over the left field fence to pull CSU back within three at 6-3.
Garcia jumped on the second pitch of the fourth inning with a solo home run as the Gamecocks scored eight runs in the fourth and added three more in the fifth, taking advantage of four CSU errors in the two innings in putting the game out of reach in the 17-3 victory.