Campell rallies past Bucs, 8-5, in series finale

Campell rallies past Bucs, 8-5, in series finale
Box score

BUIES CREEK, N.C. - Campbell rallied late, scoring eight runs over the fourth and fifth innings, to erase an early Charleston Southern lead as the Camels rallied to close out the weekend series at Amanda Littlejohn Stadium with the 8-5 victory over the Buccaneers on Saturday afternoon.

Hannah Wagner connected on a pair of doubles and drove in two runs, while Ari Tedesco added two hits for the Bucs as Charleston Southern built a 4-0 lead over the first four innings, but a solo home run by Olivia Scarborough sparked the Camels rally as Campbell took the series with the victory, picking up their second win of the weekend.

Charleston Southern falls to 10-35, 3-14 in Big South action on the season with the loss, while Campbell improves to 28-16, 12-4 in conference play with the win.

Courtney Roberts (15-6) out-dueled CSU's Jennifer Giles (6-25) on the mound in the game as both pitchers matched each other with complete games inside the circle. Roberts went the distance for Campbell, recording nine strikeouts while scattering five hits in the win, while Giles was tagged for 11 hits while striking out three in the loss.

The Bucs jumped ahead early in the contest, plating three runs in the top of the first inning to stake Giles to the early lead.

A hit by pitch issued to Marci Christian, followed by an illegal pitch, gave the Bucs a runner on second with none out to open the game. Stephanie Sbardella and Linzy Rother both drew walks to load the bases with two outs, giving way to Wagner, and the sophomore connected on a double through the left side of the infield, scoring Christian and Sbardella. The relay back into the infield deflected off Rother's helmet and she came around to score on the play as well, giving the Bucs the 3-0 lead.

Charleston Southern tacked on one more run in the top of the fourth as Tedesco and Christian connected on back-to-back two out singles, giving the Bucs runners at the corners. Christian was tagged out attempting to steal second base, but during the rundown Tedesco was able to cross the plate, putting CSU ahead 4-0 midway through the contest.

Giles cruised through the first four innings of the game before Scarborough ended the CSU shutout attempt with a solo home run over the left centerfield fence to cut into the Bucs lead. Brittany Bruce followed with a double and Ericka Nesbitt reached on a fielder's choice and stole second, putting two runners in scoring position with one out. Courtney Klinger brought both home with a double to right field, pulling the Camels back to within one run down 4-3 after five innings.

The Bucs added to their lead in the sixth inning as Courtney Konyk scored on a sacrifice bunt by Melanie Stickney, crossing the plate on the squeeze play. Konyk reached base, coming in to run on Wagner's second double of the game with one out in the inning.

The Camels broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth, sending 10 batters to the plate in the inning in building the 8-5 lead. Bruce provided the early scoring in the inning, knotting the game up at 5-5 following her two-run single, scoring Maggie Christopher and Jessi Lane. Stephanie Jones followed with an RBI single, plating Bruce to give the Camels their first lead of the game and Nesbitt and Sarah Forgacs both added RBI singles in the inning to put Campbell ahead three heading into the top of the seventh inning.

Tedesco led off the inning with a walk to put the Buccaneers in business in their final at-bats, but that was all the offense CSU was able to muster as Roberts retired the next three bats in order to close out her 15th win of the season.

Charleston Southern remains on the road on Tuesday as CSU make the short trip to Conway, S.C. to take on Coastal Carolina in a single game. First pitch between the Bucs and the Chanticleers at the Coastal Carolina Softball Field is set for 2 p.m. Charleston Southern returns home next weekend for their final home stand as the Bucs welcome Gardner-Webb for a three-game series starting with a doubleheader on Saturday, February 20th, at the CSU Softball Field.

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