COLUMBIA, S.C. - Charleston Southern fell in non-conference action on Tuesday afternoon as the Buccaneers dropped a 9-1 decision to host South Carolina at Beckham Field.
The Buccaneers scored in the top of the first inning as Natalie Yonan crossed the plate on a passed ball from USC starter Nickie Blue, but the road-weary CSU softball team was unable to keep the Gamecocks off the scoreboard as the home team scored five runs over the first two innings before closing out the contest in the bottom of the sixth in closing out the victory.
Charleston Southern falls to 19-22-1 overall with the loss to the Gamecocks, while freshman hurler Cheyenne Gandara (7-8) suffered the loss in going the first 1.2 innings inside the circle for the Bucs.
The Buccaneers jumped out the gates early as Yonan reached on a one-out walk in the top of the first. Stephanie Sbardella followed with a single up the middle to put two on, and miscommunication led to a USC wild pitch putting both runners in scoring position. Another miscue led to a USC passed ball, allowing Yonan to score, putting the Bucs ahead 1-0 after the top of the first.
South Carolina came back in the bottom half of the inning as Sarah Mooney doubled in Victoria Williams and Lauren Masters with two outs to put the Gamecocks ahead, 2-0. USC built on their lead with three more runs in the second as Codee Yeske brought in Dana Hathorn on a fly out in foul territory down the left field line, while Ashlyn Masters and Lauren Masters both had RBI singles to stretch the advantage to 5-1.
The Gamecocks pushed across three more runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth to close out the action with Alaynie Page providing the walk-off single to end the game.
Gandara went 1.2 innings in the contest in suffering the loss, while Jennifer Giles (2.1 innings, three strikeouts) and Morgan Dowdy (1.1 innings, one earned run) both saw time inside the circle for head coach Shane Winkler on the evening.
Blue (13-5) picked up the complete game win, allowing two hits and one unearned run, while striking out four in the victory.
Charleston Southern remains on the road this weekend as the Buccaneers travel to nearby Patriots Point in taking on local rival College of Charleston in a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. First pitch between the Bucs and the Cougars is set for 3 p.m.