CHARLESTON, S.C. - Winthrop withstood both the Buccaneers and the windy conditions on the CSU Softball Field on Monday afternoon as the Eagles took both games of the doubleheader to complete the series sweep over Charleston Southern in Big South Conference play, winning 9-3 and 4-3.
Charleston Southern falls to 5-25, 0-6 in Big South Conference play with the pair of losses, while Winthrop improves to 16-14, 4-2 overall in conference action with the sweep.
Charleston Southern is back in action tomorrow afternoon as the Buccaneers host local rival College of Charleston in a doubleheader, with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.
Game One: Winthrop 9, Charleston Southern 3 (Box Score)
Winthrop took advantage of six Charleston Southern errors in plating nine runs, seven unearned, and Sutton Watson went the distance for the Eagles as the visitors clinched the series win over Charleston Southern with the 9-3 victory to open the day.
Jasmine Conley connected on her first career home run in the contest for Charleston Southern as the senior outfielder from Morganton, N.C. hit a one-out solo blast for the Bucs in the fourth inning.
Linzy Rother (2-7) suffered the loss for the Buccaneers in the game, going four innings and allowing five hits. The senior right-hander was tagged for eight runs (one earned) in the loss and added five strikeouts. Hayes Holdsworth closed out the game, pitching the final three innings in allowing three hits and one run.
Watson (9-8) went the distance for the Eagles, scattering eight hits over the seven innings and had six strikeouts in keeping the Buccaneers' bats at bay.
Winthrop opened the scoring in the top of the third inning as Zharne Glover reached on a one-out double down the left field line and came around to score on a CSU fielding error on Kristy Noble's grounder to put the Eagles on the scoreboard. Rother loaded the bases with two outs and struggled with her command, issuing bases-loaded walks to Alex White and Kelsey Ritter to put Winthrop ahead 3-0 in the third inning.
Charleston Southern battled back in the second inning as Rother provided the damage from the plate with a two-run single. Marci Christian reached on a one-out base hit and stole second, while Jana Matthews was hit by a pitch to give CSU two runners on with two outs. A passed ball advanced both runners into scoring position, and Rother stroked a single into left field, allowing both runners to score. Rother attempted to take second on the play, but was caught in a rundown before eventually being tagged for the third out to end the inning with CSU trailing 3-2.
The Eagles pressed their advantage in the top of the fourth inning, sending 10 batters to the plate in scoring five runs to build an 8-2 lead.
McKenzi Corn drove in the first run on a sacrifice fly, while Noble and Glover scored on a CSU error in the frame. White brought in a run with an RBI groundout, while Ritter drove in the final run of the frame with a single through the right side of the infield, scoring Eberlin to give the Eagles the six-run lead.
With one out in the fourth inning, Conley battled five pitches in building a 2-2 count before connecting on her first collegiate home run as a Charleston Southern Buccaneer. The 5-0 senior drove pitch into the gusting wind, which reached speeds of up to 30 miles per hour on the day, and the ball cleared the fence in left field to pull CSU back with 8-3.
The Eagles plated the final run in the game in the top of the sixth as Alex White led off the inning with a double to the fence in straightaway centerfield. She advanced to third on a wild pitch, before coming around to score on Brooke Tracy's RBI single to cap the WU scoring efforts in the contest.
Charleston Southern put runners on base in each of the last three innings, with Holdsworth advancing to third with two outs in the sixth, while Christian reached second with one out in the seventh, but each time Watson had the answer, retiring the Bucs without giving up a run in closing out the contest.
Game Two: Winthrop 4, Charleston Southern 3 (Box Score)
Marci Christian went a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate and Stephanie Sbardella added two hits for the Buccaneers as Charleston Southern jumped out of the gates ahead of Winthrop in the nightcap of the doubleheader, but the go-ahead single by Alex White in the top of the fifth inning helped the Eagles rally past Charleston Southern in completing the sweep with the 4-3 victory.
The Buccaneers jumped out of the gates swinging the sticks early in the first inning, loading the bases in pushing two runs across for CSU starter Jennifer Giles (2-18), but the Eagles took the lead in the top of the fourth on Melanie Andrea's single, and scored the final tally on White's base hit in closing out the victory.
Giles pitched 5.1 innings in receiving the loss, allowing six hits and four runs, while striking out three. Linzy Rother pitched 1.2 innings in relief in the game, allowing two hits, while striking out two.
Sutton Watson (10-8) picked up her second win on the day, hurling the final 3.2 innings in relief for the Eagles in the contest, allowing two hits while striking out seven. Sara Allen started the game, throwing 0.2 innings, while Chelsey Schoenfeldt pitched 2.2 innings in relief for Winthrop.
Giles set Winthrop down in order in the top of the first and Charleston Southern wasted little time in establishing an early lead with two runs in the frame.
Christian led off the inning reaching on an infield single, advancing to second base as Matthews was plunked by a pitch. A passed ball advanced both runners into scoring position and Rother drew a walk to load the bases with one out. The Eagles picked up their second out on a fielder's choice, getting the out at home on an infield groundout, but Jasmine Conley broke the seal on the plate, getting hit by a pitch to score Matthews for the first tally. Rother came around to score two pitches later on a passed ball to stake the Bucs to the 2-0 lead.
The lead held through the first three innings, though Winthrop cut the deficit in half in the third inning as Zharne Glover reached on a single, moving around the bases on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on McKenzi Corn's sacrifice fly.
Eberlin knotted the game up at 2-all in the top of the fourth, greeting Giles to open the frame with a line drive home run to straightaway centerfield. Winthrop took their first lead of the game later in the frame as Andrea singled in Kelsey Ritter to put the score at 3-2 in favor of the guests.
The Buccaneers tied the game up in the bottom half of the frame as Natalie Yonan doubled in Courtney Konyk with one out in the fourth. CSU threatened to retake the lead, loading the bases with one out as Christian and Sbardella hit back-to-back singles following Yonan's double, but Sutton entered the game and shut down the CSU offense to keep the score tied at 3-all.
The Eagles pushed across the go-ahead run in the fifth as White singled in Corn on a one-out single to shallow centerfield.
The Bucs again placed runners on base in each of the last three innings, but were unable to put together the timely hit needed to tie the game in suffering the loss.