RADFORD, Va. - Jessica Agee and Rachael Walters combined to lead Radford to the 7-1 victory over Charleston Southern on Saturday afternoon as the Highlanders completed the series sweep over the Buccaneers at the Radford Softball Field.
Marci Christian connected on her second home run of the weekend for Charleston Southern, drilling a solo home run to lead off the top of the third inning, but Walters (6-6) entered the game and paced Highlanders from the mound, retiring 14 batters in a row before Ari Tedesco's single in the top of the seventh inning in closing out the game.
Charleston Southern falls to 6-29, 0-9 in Big South Conference play with the loss, while Radford (11-18, 4-1 Big South) picks up their fourth Big South Conference win of the season with the sweep.
Agee led the way for the Highlanders from the plate, bouncing back after missing Friday's doubleheader, in going 3-for-4 with a two-run home run to pace the Radford offense. Emily Naegele and Ryndee Ruch added two hits apiece for Radford in the win.
Christian led the Bucs offense on the day with the blast over the fence in centerfield. The home run was her team-leading ninth home run of the season and provided the lone run for the Bucs in the game. Stephanie Sbardella and Tedesco added singles for CSU in the loss.
Jennifer Giles (2-21) went the distance, throwing her Big South Conference leading 16th complete game this afternoon. The sophomore right-hander hurled all six innings, allowing 11 hits and seven runs (six earned) in the loss.
Walters closed out the game for the Highlanders, throwing the final five innings in allowing one hit, while striking out two in her second victory of the season. Jackie Jenkins started the game for Radford, throwing the first two innings and allowing two hits and one run.
Radford opened the scoring in the bottom of the second as Casey Burns singled in Naegele for the first run of the game with two outs in the inning. Ruch followed with a double to the fence in right field, scoring Mackenzie Blackwell to give the Highlanders the early 2-0 lead.
Christian answered in the top of the third for the Buccaneers, taking the second pitch of the inning from Jenkins over the centerfield fence to cut the deficit in half. Sbardella followed with a single to left field, advancing to second base on the play. Walters entered the game and closed out the side, retiring the final three batters of the inning to keep the CSU bats at bay.
Fielding miscues led to the third Radford run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning as back-to-back CSU errors put Burns and Ruch on base to lead off the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, where Burns came around to score on the third CSU error in the frame, putting the Highlanders up 3-1.
Radford plated two runs apiece in the fifth and sixth innings as Burns and Ruch drove in runs in the fifth inning, while Agee drove in Morgan Eye with a two-run home run in the sixth for the final runs of the game.
Walters, meanwhile, retired the first 14 batters she faced in the game before Tedesco snapped the freshman left-hander's streak with a bloop single to shallow left field to keep the Bucs comeback hopes alive. The rally fell short as Radford closed out the game on the next batter in recording the 7-1 victory.
Charleston Southern returns home following the Easter Break as the Buccaneers welcome Coastal Carolina to the CSU Softball Field on Tuesday, April 2nd, for a Big South Conference doubleheader. First pitch between the Buccaneers and the Chanticleers is set for 2 p.m.