CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern fell twice on Saturday afternoon to host College of Charleston, dropping an extra-innings decision to the Cougars to open the afternoon, while a CSU comeback attempt in the nightcap fell short in the Buccaneers 3-2 loss at the Patriots Point Athletics Complex.
Charleston Southern falls to 19-24-1 overall with the pair of losses to the Cougars on the season. The Bucs continue with the final games of their eight game road swing next week as CSU makes the trip to Coastal Carolina on Tuesday afternoon for a doubleheader in Conway, S.C. First pitch between the Bucs and the Chanticleers is set for 2 p.m.
College of Charleston 3, Charleston Southern 2 (9 inn.)
Valerie Cassell doubled in Mackenzie Maples in the bottom of the ninth to propel the host Cougars to a come-from-behind victory on Saturday afternoon in the doubleheader opener between Buccaneers and CofC at Patriots Point as the College of Charleston took the opener, 3-2.
Charleston Southern built a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning in the contest as Georgi DeLio led off the inning with a double down the right field line. Stevi Johnson brought her in with a double off the fence down the left field line as the ball slammed into the barrier to push CSU ahead 1-0 with one out in the frame. Brooke Holcomb added a solo home run later in the frame to push the Buccaneers lead to 2-0 as the freshman connected on her second blast of the season, with this one settling over the left field fence to double the CSU lead.
CSU starter Cheyenne Gandara (7-9) retired the first 10 College of Charleston batters in order before Rebecca Mueller drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the fourth inning. A wild pitch advanced her to second before Kelsey Hodgson brought Mueller around to score with an RBI single to left field. Two batters later Katie Padilla singled up the middle allowing Hodgson to cross the plate and knotting up the game at 2-2.
Both pitchers took over from there as the teams finished the rest of regulation with Gandara and CofC starter Samantha Martin (9-2) allowing a combined three runners over the final three innings with neither team getting a runner to advance past first base as they headed into extra innings.
Gandara pitched out of a first-and-third situation with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to provide extra life to the CSU offense as the freshman hurler struck out Hodgson on a 1-2 offering, stranding Jordan Trgovac and Mueller on the corners.
The CSU offense nearly took advantage of the momentum provided by their freshman ace as Stephanie Bergmann led off the top of the ninth with a double to the left centerfield gap. A sacrifice bunt laid down by Johnson advanced the CSU base-runner within 60 feet of the go-ahead run, but Martin proved up to the task in recording the final two outs to end the CSU threat.
In the bottom half of the frame, Maples led off with a double down the left field line. Two batters later, Cassell connected on the walk-off double to centerfield to close out the contest in favor of the Cougars.
Gandara went the distance for the Bucs in the loss, allowing six hits and three earned runs, while striking out three. CofC's Martin also hurled a complete game inside the circle, counteracting nine CSU hits with 12 strikeouts in picking up the victory.
College of Charleston 3, Charleston Southern 2
Lizzy Olmstead and Morgan Dowdy nearly led Charleston Southern in a comeback attempt in the top of the seventh inning of the nightcap against the College of Charleston, but the Buccaneers bats fell short against CofC starter Hope Klicker as the Bucs dropped the second game of the day to the Cougars, 3-2.
Olmstead sparked the CSU offense in the top of the seventh with a triple to the gap in right centerfield, reaching with one out in the frame, and two batters later Dowdy connected on a single to right to narrow the Buccaneers' margin down to one run in their final at-bats, but Klicker was able to retire the final batter in closing out the contest in favor of the home squad.
Charleston Southern struck first in the top of the first, using the speed of Amanda Matsumoto on the base paths as the fleet-footed freshman drew a walk to open up the game. She immediately stole second base, putting her season total up to 10 on the season before scoring on Jessica Brock's single up the middle to put CSU ahead 1-0 in their opening at-bats.
College of Charleston answered in the bottom half of the frame with one of their own as Carly Corthell singled in Lizzy Vaughn with none out in the frame to even the total off of Charleston Southern starter Jennifer Giles.
The Cougars put up crooked numbers on the board in both the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings as Chandler Frisbie singled in Valerie Cassell to put the Cougars ahead 2-1 in the fourth, while Mackensie Maples connected on a sacrifice fly in scoring Corthell in the bottom of the fifth to push the edge to 3-1.
Charleston Southern battled back with one run in the seventh on the Dowdy two-out RBI single, but CSU was unable to push across the tying run in falling in the doubleheader sweep to CofC on Saturday afternoon at Patriots Point.
Giles (9-8) suffered the loss inside the circle for the Bucs, going five innings in scattering five hits and three runs (two earned) on the afternoon. Cheyenne Gandara closed out the game with one inning of one-hit relief.
Klicker (14-9) went the distance for the Cougars on the evening, allowing eight hits and two runs, while striking out four.
Brock, Stevi Johnson and Olmstead all had two hits apiece for the Buccaneers offense in the game as CSU out-hit the Cougars 8-6 in the contest.