Winthrop holds off CSU in weekend opener, 7-2

Winthrop holds off CSU in weekend opener, 7-2
Box score

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Alex White and Chelsey Schoenfeldt homered for Winthrop as the Eagles offset a first inning blast by Charleston Southern's Marci Christian in recording the 7-2 weather-shortened Big South Conference victory on Saturday afternoon at the CSU Softball Field.

Christian homered in the bottom of the first for the Buccaneers to spot CSU the early 1-0 lead, but Schoenfeldt put the Eagles ahead for good with a three-run blast in the fourth inning and White connected on a solo shot in the fifth to pace Winthrop to the victory.

Charleston Southern falls to 5-23, 0-4 in Big South Conference play on the season, while Winthrop improves to 14-14 with a 2-2 record in conference action.

Jennifer Giles (2-17) went the distance in the weather-shortened game as first pitch was delayed three hours, being pushed back to a 5 p.m. start time due to rain throughout the Charleston area and the game was called after five innings due to the coming darkness of night. The Jupiter, Fla. native allowed seven runs (six earned) in the game in the loss.

Bradlee Holeman (1-0) picked up the win for Winthrop, throwing a scoreless inning in relief of WU starter Dallas King. Sutton Watson finished the game for the Eagles, throwing a scoreless fifth inning.

After Giles stranded the bases loaded in the top of the first as Winthrop was unable to capitalize on early base-runners, the Buccaneers put the first run on the scoreboard. With two outs, Christian connected on a 2-2 offering from King, drilling the ball over the fence in centerfield for the opening run of the ball game.

Winthrop knotted the game up at 1-all in the bottom of the third as McKenzi Corn reached on a one-out double off the fence in left field. An intentional walk to Schoenfeldt and an unintentional walk to Kathryn Eberlin loaded the bases, giving way to Alex White's sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Corn to tie the game.

After King set down the Bucs in the bottom of the third, Giles ran into trouble in the top of the fourth with two outs as the Eagles placed two runners on with Jenna Harbin reaching on a walk, while Teja Durante connected on a shallow single down the left field line. Corn drove in the first run, plating Harbin on a single to right field and Schoenfeldt followed with a three-run blast, clearing the bases for the Eagles 5-1 lead.

Charleston Southern took one back in the bottom of the inning as the Linzy Rother reached third on a one-out fielder's choice and error. Rother came in to score during Courtney Konyk's at-bat, crossing the plate on an illegal pitch, with Hannah Wagner advancing to second on the plate. Wagner advanced to third on a second illegal pitch from Holeman as Hayes Holdsworth drew a walk, but the CSU rally fell short, leaving the Bucs to trail 5-2.

White opened up the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run to straightaway centerfield and Kristy Noble brought home the final run on a sacrifice fly to right field, plating Harbin.

The Bucs put two runners on base in the bottom of the fifth with Sbardella reached on a hit by pitch and Matthews moving her to second on a sharply hit single through the left side of the infield, but Sutton shut down the CSU offense from there.

Charleston Southern and Winthrop close out the weekend series tomorrow afternoon as the Buccaneers and Eagles take the field for a doubleheader at the CSU Softball Field. First pitch between the Big South Conference rivals is set for 1 p.m.

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