CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern's offense was shut down for the second straight game on Sunday afternoon and Shelby Petik had two RBI for visiting Presbyterian as the Buccaneers fell in the series finale to the Blue Hose at the CSU Softball Field, 2-0.
The Buccaneers sent all four pitchers to the circle during the game in a staff outing, but Petik proved to be the difference in the contest with a solo home run in the top of the sixth and an RBI single in the seventh in support of a strong PC pitching effort as the Buccaneers fell in the final two games of the weekend series after taking the opener on Saturday afternoon, 6-2.
Charleston Southern falls to 17-18-1, 3-5 in Big South play with the loss, while Presbyterian runs their record to 16-12, 2-3 overall in conference action with the victory.
The Buccaneers threatened in the bottom of the first inning against PC starter Kensley Loudermelk as Stephanie Sbardella and Stevi Johnson drew back-to-back one out walks, but the PC hurler proved up to the task in retiring the next two batters on outs to keep the Bucs off the scoreboard.
CSU starter Jennifer Giles retired the first six PC batters in a row before turning the ball over to Lauren Darden in the third inning. The CSU senior kept the Buccaneers shutout intact despite facing bases-loaded situations in both the third and fourth innings.
Presbyterian loaded the bases with one out in the third, but Darden forced a grounder back to herself on the mound for the second out and retired the third out on a one-hop grounder to Natalie Yonan at second base to end the frame. The fourth inning also ended on a groundout to Yonan as the teams made it through four innings in a scoreless battle.
Charleston Southern threatened to break the game open in the bottom of the third inning as Sbardella drilled a double down the left field line and Stevi Johnson connected on a sharply hit single between the shortstop and the third baseman to put runners on the corners with one out. Katie Brown (4-3), the PC starter in game two on Saturday, entered the contest and shut down the Bucs offense getting a flyout and a groundout from the next two CSU batters to end the inning and stifle the Buccaneers threat.
Presbyterian jumped ahead in the top of the sixth as Petik connected on the 1-0 pitch from CSU reliever Morgan Dowdy (2-5) in connecting on her third home run of the season as the ball cleared the left centerfield fence to put the Blue Hose ahead 1-0.
PC added an insurance run in the top of the seventh as Petik connected on a soft line drive over the drawn in CSU infield to score Jill McLean off of CSU reliever Cheyenne Gandara for the final score in the contest.
Brown retired the final seven batters in the CSU lineup, setting the Bucs down in order in both the sixth and seventh innings to close out the game and the Presbyterian victory.
Sbardella and Georgi DeLio both connected on their ninth doubles of the season to pace the CSU offensive efforts in the game, while Hope Rogers went a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate for PC in the win.
Charleston Southern remains at home as the Buccaneers close out their 10 game home stand in hosting the College of Charleston in a doubleheader at the CSU Softball Field on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch between the Bucs and the Cougars is set for 2 p.m. with the games to be streamed live on the Big South Network.