CHARLESTON, S.C. - Jessica Brock and Brooke Holcomb had a pair of two-run doubles to pace a strong pitching effort by Jennifer Giles in the 6-2 Charleston Southern win to open up the series against Presbyterian. However, a three-hit shutout by the Blue Hose's Katie Brown in the nightcap led to a 1-0 PC win and ended the first day in a split at the CSU Softball Field.
Charleston Southern moves to 17-17-1, 3-3 in conference action with the split against Presbyterian, while PC moves to 15-12, 1-3 overall in Big South Conference play with the split.
The Bucs and the Blue Hose will close out the three game series tomorrow afternoon with first pitch of the single contest between CSU and PC slated for 1 p.m.
Charleston Southern 6, Presbyterian 2
CSU's Jennifer Giles and Presbyterian's Sydney Seigler battled in a pitching duel through the first four innings before Jessica Brock connected on the go-ahead double in the bottom of the fifth to propel CSU to the 6-2 win over the Blue Hose on ESPN3.
Giles (8-5) went the distance in the contest, scattering three hits and allowing two unearned runs on the afternoon in picking up her team-leading eighth win of the season. Giles added seven strikeouts while issuing two walks in the win.
Sydney Seigler (8-7) suffered the loss for the Blue Hose, going four innings inside the circle in allowing four runs (three earned) and allowing three hits. Natasha Sherrod closed out the afternoon, hurling the final two innings in allowing two unearned runs for PC.
Neither team was able to get much going through the first four and a half innings until the Buccaneers bats came to life in the bottom of the fifth. Stephanie Bergmann led off the inning with a single to right field and Ari Tedesco followed, reaching on a fielder's choice as the play at second ended in an error, allowing all runners to reach base safely. Brock followed two pitches later with a double to the gap in right centerfield, scoring both runners for the first two runs of the game. Brock came around to score on a wild pitch to make it 3-0, while Stephanie Sbardella crossed on a delayed squeeze bunt by Hayes Holdsworth to put the margin at 4-0 after the fifth inning.
Giles retired 11 batters in a row running from the end of the second inning to the beginning of the sixth before Jill McLean snapped the streak with a one-out single to left. Erin Ruff reached on a fielding error putting two runners on base, and Shelby Petik followed two batters later with a double off the right field fence to bring both runners across the plate and halve the CSU lead.
Charleston Southern added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom half of the inning with Brooke Holcomb providing the big hit in the frame with a double over the PC left fielder's head, scoring Lizzy Olmstead and Brittany McPherson to put the score at 6-2 heading into the final inning.
Giles closed out the top of the seventh in retiring the Blue Hose in order to end the game in favor of CSU.
Brock went 2-for-3 from the plate for CSU in the win, driving in two RBI and picked up her 10th double of the season, while Holcomb and Georgi DeLio also connected on two-baggers in the game from the plate.
Presbyterian 1, Charleston Southern 0
The Blue Hose took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on the RBI single by Shelby Petik and PC starter Katie Brown made it count, hurling a three-hit shutout the rest of the way in battling the Blue Hose to the split on Saturday afternoon.
Petik finished the contest with two of the Blue Hose's four hits off of CSU starter Cheyenne Gandara (6-6) as the CSU freshman nearly matched her counterpart inside the circle with six strikeouts against two walks.
Brown completed the three-hit shutout, needing only 68 pitches on the afternoon to shut down the CSU offense. Presbyterian was in trouble only in the second inning when the Bucs put two runners in scoring position before Brown ended the frame on a groundout to keep the shutout intact.
Kersten Legacki reached on a two-out single in the top of the first and stolen second base to get into scoring position before Petik connected on a soft line drive up the middle. The ball settled over the CSU shortstop's head and landed just behind the dirt allowing Legacki to score and give the Blue Hose the early lead.
Charleston Southern nearly took the run back in the bottom of the second as Hayes Holdsworth led off the inning reaching on a fielding error by the PC shortstop. A sacrifice bunt by DeLio moved her to second and she advanced to third on a passed ball to put the Bucs into play. With two outs, Holcomb reached on a walk, but Brown ended the frame on a groundout to third to keep the score 1-0.
The Buccaneers were unable to threaten the rest of the way as Brown allowed only a Natalie Yonan single in the bottom of the sixth on the way to completing the shutout.