Buccaneers fall in both ends of the doubleheader to USC Upstate

Buccaneers fall in both ends of the doubleheader to USC Upstate

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern fell in both ends of the doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon against visiting USC Upstate as the Buccaneers fell 7-4 and 6-0 at the Buccaneer Softball Field.

Georgi DeLio led the CSU offense on the day with a three-run double in the first inning of game one, while senior pitcher Morgan Dowdy shined on the mound, but an error-plagued third inning by the Buccaneers defense hurt the CSU chances in the first game. The second game saw the Bucs' bats struggle from the plate as Upstate's Anna Miller and Lexi Shubert combined for the three-hit shutout.

Charleston Southern falls to 7-7-1 overall with the losses on the day, while USC Upstate runs their record to 16-0 with the wins.

USC Upstate 7, Charleston Southern 4

Charleston Southern plated four runs in the bottom of the first behind a bases-clearing double by DeLio, but the CSU defense gave it all back in the third inning with four errors allowing five unearned runs as the Buccaneers fell in the opener to the Spartans, 7-4.

Jennifer Giles (3-2) suffered the loss on the game in 2.1 innings' action as the junior right-hander allowed seven runs (two earned), while scattering five hits in the contest. Dowdy closed out the contest in relief, finishing the final 4.2 innings in allowing three hits while striking out two in the effort.

Shubert (7-0) picked up her seventh win of the season in closing out the game for the Spartans in going the final 3.2 innings without allowing a hit to record the win in support of starter Hannah Alexander. Alexander went the first 3.1 innings, allowing six hits and four runs before being removed with two on and one out in the fourth.

After Giles retired the Spartans in the first inning, the Buccaneers wasted little time in getting the offense going in the bottom half of the frame as Jessica Brock reached on a one-out single before Stephanie Sbardella crushed a line-drive double off the wall in straightaway centerfield to put two on with one out. Natalie Yonan followed with a bouncing single up the middle for the first run of the game and stole second base one batter later to advance into scoring position. Following a walk issued to Stevi Johnson, DeLio came up with the towering drive into the sun in right field. The ball landed in the gap, allowing all three runners to score in putting the Buccaneers ahead 4-0 early.

USC Upstate battled back in the third, taking advantage of four CSU throwing errors in the inning to take the 7-4 lead.

The Spartans batted around, sending 11 batters to the plate in the frame with the big play in the inning coming on Cheyenne Griffin's fielder's choice. With the score at 4-2 in favor of the Bucs with one out, Griffin dropped down a sacrifice bunt. The Buccaneers attempted to make the play at second base to get the force on Shellie Robinson, but the throw sailed off target and past the CSU backline of defense allowing three runners to score as the Spartans took the 5-4 lead. Erin Schattle added an RBI single and Hayley Reinfeld brought in Kendall Settlemyre on a sacrifice fly to put the score at 7-4 when the dust settled.

Charleston Southern threatened to chip away at the lead in the bottom of the fourth as Ari Tedesco and Amanda Matsumoto reached on back-to-back one-out singles, chasing Alexander from the game. Shubert, however, ended the CSU rally before it could gain momentum in retiring the next two batters to keep the margin intact.

Dowdy and Shubert traded zeroes the rest of the contest as both teams were able to manage a combined one runner on base over the final two innings as the Buccaneers fell in the early game, 7-4.

USC Upstate 6, Charleston Southern 0

The Spartans pushed across two runs in the top of the first and Miller and Shubert made the lead stand up the rest of the way as the Buccaneers were unable to support a strong performance by freshman Cheyenne Gandara in falling in the nightcap, 6-0.

Gandara (2-3) continued her strong start to the season in a losing effort on Tuesday afternoon, allowing six hits and four earned runs on the game while striking out two in the loss. Lauren Darden closed out the game, throwing the final inning to cap off the afternoon.

Miller (4-0) went 4.2 innings on the game, allowing three hits before coming out in the middle of the fifth in giving way to Shubert. The Spartans right-handed hurler went the final 2.1 innings in hitless relief to go with three strikeouts in picking up the save.

Maddison Kieffer drove in the first run for the Spartans in the top of the first with a one-out bases-loaded RBI single to right centerfield, scoring Dana Landers. Two batters later, Schattle brought in the second run with a base hit to right field, but Sbardella ended the inning for the Bucs, rifling out Cheyenne Griffin at the plate to end the inning with USC Upstate leading 2-0.

Gandara and Miller were both locked in until the fourth inning before Schattle added an insurance run to the Spartans' total with a solo home run to left field with one out in the inning.

Charleston Southern threatened to take one back in the bottom half of the inning as Sbardella worked her way around the base paths after reached on a hit by pitch to lead off the frame. The CSU senior right fielder advanced to second on a throwing error by the Spartans' centerfielder and advanced to third on Stephanie Bergmann's infield single, but was unable to cross the plate ahead of the throw, getting tagged out in the batters' box to end the inning with USC Upstate leading 3-0.

The Spartans closed out the scoring with an Aly Schneider sacrifice fly in the sixth bringing in Settlemyre, while Robinson connected on a solo home run and Ryan Rector scored on a CSU throwing error in the seventh to cap off the game.

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