CHARLESTON, S.C. - It was a tale of two games at the Charleston Southern Softball Field as the Buccaneers took the first game against Canisius on Wednesday afternoon, 13-0, while the Golden Griffins stormed back to take the second game, 12-2, to split the doubleheader.
Stephanie Sbardella connected on a three-run home run in the first game and Marci Christian connected on her 10th home run of the season to pace the Bucs to the game one victory. In the nightcap, Meghan Cuda drove in six runs, connecting on a double and triple to lead the Golden Griffins over the Bucs.
Charleston Southern moves to 7-32 overall on the season, while Canisius moves to 13-12 following the split.
The Buccaneers remain at home this weekend, closing out their seven game home stand with a three game Big South Conference weekend series against Liberty on April 6-7. First pitch in the Saturday doubleheader between the Bucs and Flames is set for 2 p.m., while Sunday's single seven-inning contest is set for 1 p.m.
Game One: Charleston Southern 13, Canisius 0 (5 inn.)
Stephanie Sbardella and Marci Christian connected on home runs in the game and Jennifer Giles tossed her first shutout of the season as the Buccaneers bats came alive in the 13-0 victory over Canisius in the opener.
Sbardella drove in three runs for CSU in the contest, while Christian and Lizzy Olmstead both drove in two runs apiece as the Bucs took advantage of five Golden Griffin errors in plating at least two runs in each inning in the win.
Giles (3-22) picked up her third win of the season, scattering three hits and allowed two walks, while recording two strikeouts in the victory.
Amanda Baun (3-4) suffered the loss in the first game, allowing five runs over two innings of work, while Corinne Schaus hurled the final two innings of the contest in relief.
Canisius put two runners in scoring position in the top of the first inning as Cuda and Valorie Nappo reached second and third with one out following a sacrifice bunt by Robin Kennery. However, Giles kept the Golden Griffins off the scoreboard, getting Stephanie Pfentner on a popup to the shortstop and set Katie Medina down on strikes to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the frame, Christian led off the game drawing a walk and Ari Tedesco followed with an infield single. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position and Sbardella drove both in with a towering three-run home run over the foul pole down the left field line, staking Charleston Southern to the 3-0 lead.
A pair of base-running miscues hurt the Golden Griffins' scoring chances in the second inning as Bethany DeMarco and Alexis Roman were both tagged out after getting into rundowns to end the Canisius threat in the frame.
Charleston Southern plated two more runs in the second inning as Natalie Yonan scored on a throwing error, while Jana Matthews connected on a sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Christian to extend the CSU lead to 5-0.
The Bucs continued to build on their lead, adding three more runs in the bottom of the third inning and five in the bottom of the fourth, running their advantage to 13-0.
Christian provided the big blast in the third inning, following an RBI double by Olmstead with a two-run home run to straightaway centerfield.
In the fourth inning, Charleston Southern sent nine batters to the plate, taking advantage of three Canisius errors during the frame to build the lead.
Giles, in the meantime, faced one batter over the minimum over the final three innings, retiring the side in both the third and fourth innings. After walking Tori Nappo to open the fifth, the sophomore right-hander retired the final three batters in picking up the shutout win.
Game Two: Canisius 12, Charleston Southern 2 (5 inn.)
Katie Medina racked up three hits and Meghan Cuda drove in six runs as the Golden Griffins rallied with 12 unanswered runs in recording the 12-2 victory in the nightcap of the doubleheader in earning the split with the Buccaneers.
Jen Consaul (9-6) went the distance in the complete game for Canisius, scattering six hits in allowing two runs (one earned), while striking out three.
Linzy Rother (3-9) suffered the loss for the Bucs, throwing 2.1 innings in the start, while Jennifer Giles closed out the contest, pitching the final 2.2 innings in relief.
The Buccaneers' momentum carried into the bottom of the first inning in the second game as Jana Matthews opened the scoring with a two-out double to the fence in left centerfield, scoring Ari Tedesco. Rother followed with a base hit in her own support, singling to left field to score Matthews and put the Bucs ahead, 2-0.
Canisius struck back in the top of the second, gaining their first lead of the day in plating three runs in the inning. Cuda provided the big blow in the inning, driving a triple to the fence in right field, scoring Michelle DelPrince and Tori Nappo to even the score with two outs. Alexis Roman followed with an infield single, scoring Cuda on the play put the Golden Griffins ahead, 3-2.
The Golden Griffins' bats continued to connect in both the third and fourth innings, driving in four runs in each frame to expand their lead to 11-2.
The Golden Griffins sent 10 batters to the plate in the third inning in extending their lead to five runs as Bethany DeMarco, Meghan Cuda and Robin Kennery all drove in runs, while Stephanie Pfentner scored on a wild pitch in the inning.
The fourth inning saw the big blow come from the bat of Cuda as her shallow flare down the left field line with the bases loaded landed between three CSU fielders. In the fielding mix-up, all three runners came around to score as Cuda reached on the double, advancing to third on the play at the plate to put Canisius up 10-2. Cuda scored one batter later, crossing the plate on Roman's single.
The final run of the game came in the top of the fifth as Valorie Nappo doubled in Medina.
The Buccaneers mounted a comeback in the bottom of the fourth as Hannah Wagner singled with two outs in the inning, advancing Courtney Konyk to second base. However, the attempt fell short as Consaul retired the final four batters of the game in closing out the Canisius victory.