CHARLESTON, S.C. - Hayes Holdsworth connected on the walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth, capping off a day in which the senior outfielder had three RBI as Charleston Southern completed the series sweep against Rider with 5-0 and 2-1 wins over the Broncs on Wednesday afternoon.
Jennifer Giles picked up both wins for the Buccaneers on the day, running her season mark to 7-5 on the season as the Buccaneers completed the three-game sweep over Rider after winning Tuesday's opener against the Broncs, 7-0.
Charleston Southern runs their season record to 16-16-1 overall on the year with the pair of wins over Rider and looks ahead to this weekend as the Buccaneers host Presbyterian in a three-game series at the CSU Softball Field starting on Saturday afternoon. The series opener is scheduled for 1 p.m. and will be streamed live on ESPN3.
Charleston Southern 5, Rider 0
Holdsworth got the Buccaneers bats going in the Wednesday opener with a two-run double in the bottom of the first and Lexie Vanada added a pinch-hit solo home run in the sixth as Charleston Southern topped Rider behind a combined shutout by CSU's Jennifer Giles and Morgan Dowdy.
Giles went the first four innings in the game allowing one hit and striking out five to pick up her sixth win of the season, while Dowdy picked up her first save of the year, going the final three innings in two-hit relief to end the game in the circle and close out the Bucs' second shutout of the Broncs on the week.
Montana Berg (1-3) suffered the loss going two innings in allowing four runs and seven hits on the afternoon, while Megan Ailand closed out the contest inside the circle going the final four innings with Vanada's solo home run the lone blemish on her afternoon.
Charleston Southern struck in the bottom of the first as Jessica Brock and Stephanie Sbardella led off the game with back-to-back singles, before Holdsworth connected on the double to the left centerfield gap to drive in the first two runs of the game. Natalie Yonan followed with an RBI single up the middle, bringing in Holdsworth as CSU jumped ahead early, 3-0.
Sbardella added to the CSU lead in the bottom of the second, driving in Stevi Johnson with one out in the inning, connecting on a single through the left side of the infield. Johnson led off the inning with a single to center and stole second to advance into scoring position. She moved over to third on Stephanie Bergmann's double before crossing the plate to put the CSU advantage to 4-0.
Giles turned the ball over to Dowdy in the fifth inning and the Buccaneers defense kept the shutout intact, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the top of the sixth. Dowdy got Amanda Crimarco to ground out back to herself on the mound to end the inning and keep the Broncs off the board.
Vanada pushed across the final insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, connecting on a 3-2 pitch and driving the ball over the left field fence with two outs for her first collegiate home run in sealing the CSU 5-0 victory.
Charleston Southern 2, Rider 1 (9 innings)
Hayes Holdsworth drilled the first pitch she saw from Rider starter Kaitlyn Kallert (1-2) into left field in the bottom of the ninth, driving in Stephanie Bergmann as Charleston Southern swept the series over the Broncs with the walk-off 2-1 win at the CSU Softball Field.
Charleston Southern used a dominant staff pitching effort on the mound as Cheyenne Gandara, Lauren Darden, Morgan Dowdy and Jennifer Giles all saw time inside the circle, matching Kallert's pitching effort on the day as the Buccaneers closed out the win.
Gandara went the first four innings for the Bucs, striking out six, but gave up the lone Rider run in the contest on a solo home run by Delany DeMello in the top of the fourth. Darden allowed one hit in the fifth before retiring the side, while Dowdy went the sixth and seventh innings inside the circle as the game went into extra innings. Giles closed out the group effort with the final two innings, striking out two to end the game and pick up her second win of the day.
Kallert (1-2) retired 11 straight Buccaneers at the plate until the deciding ninth inning in picking up her second loss of the season. She went 8.2 innings inside the circle, scattering nine hits and two runs (one earned), while striking out two in the loss.
Rider opened the scoring in the fourth inning as DeMello connected on an 0-2 riseball inside the zone, sending out the solo home run over the left field fence to push the Broncs ahead 1-0.
Charleston Southern answered in the bottom half of the inning as a Rider throwing error led to the Buccaneers tying run as Ari Tedesco crossed the plate. Tedesco reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a stolen base. Bergmann hit a chopper down the third base line and the throw sailed high, allowing Tedesco to score and tie the game up at 1-1.
Rider threatened to pull ahead in the ninth inning, loading the bases with none out as the Broncs threatened to blow the game open. However, a soft line drive to Yonan at second base turned into a double play as the Bucs caught Morgan Berg leaning at first, and Giles retired Amanda Crimarco on strikes to end the threat and send the game into the bottom of the inning.
Bergmann got the bats going for the Bucs in the bottom of the ninth, reaching on a one-out single through the right side of the infield and Jessica Brock followed with a bouncer through the left side to put runners on first and second. A sharp grounder up the middle off of Sbardella's bat advanced the CSU duo into scoring position and Holdsworth wasted little time jumping on the first pitch for the 2-1 walk-off victory.