CHARLESTON, S.C. - Brooke Holcomb connected on a walk-off three-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning in support of Jennifer Giles' complete game two-hit shutout as Charleston Southern took the series finale from Radford on Sunday afternoon at the CSU Softball Field, 8-0.
Charleston Southern sent nine batters to the plate in the sixth inning with six of them coming around to score in the frame as the Buccaneers bats finally came to life against the Highlanders on Sunday. CSU banged out six of their 11 hits in the frame with Holcomb's blast over the left fielder's head and off the fence scoring Georgi DeLio, Stevi Johnson and Stephanie Sbardella bring the Bucs out of the dugout in celebration at the end of the game.
Giles (10-11) picked up her 10th win of the season inside the circle for the Buccaneers on the afternoon, hurling all five innings inside the circle for CSU. The junior right-hander struck out a season-high eight batters and did not walk anyone in the contest, allowing just three runners to reach base as the CSU defense never allowed the Highlanders to gain any momentum in the contest.
Mackenzie Blackwell became the first batter to reach base in the game, connecting on a leadoff single in the top of the third inning for the Highlanders, but the Buccaneers put the first run on the board in the bottom of the frame off of Radford starter Rachael Walters (7-9).
Brittany McPherson was plunked with two outs in the frame to reach base, and the Buccaneers quickly capitalized on the extra life as Stephanie Bergmann singled up the middle to put two on with two out. Amanda Matsumoto dropped down a bunt, but in the confusion on the play, the ball skipped past the Radford fielder covering first base, allowing McPherson to score and putting Charleston Southern ahead 1-0 in the third inning.
The Buccaneers added a second run in the bottom of the fourth as Sbardella led off the inning with her team-leading 12th double of the season. A Johnson single advanced her to third base where she scored on DeLio's infield base hit to double the Charleston Southern lead.
After Giles set the Radford lineup down in order in the top of the fifth, the Buccaneers bats exploded as the final eight batters in the lineup reached base with Sbardella and Ari Tedesco driving in runs before Holcomb's blast ended the contest.
Four Charleston Southern batters had multiple hits in the contest as Bergmann, Matsumoto, Sbardella and Delio had two hits apiece, while Holcomb led the way with three RBI.
Nia Chiles and Blackwell had the lone hits in the game for the Highlanders, while Jessie Hutchens kept her team-leading on-base streak alive after getting hit by a pitch in the top of the fourth, improving her streak to 22 consecutive games.
Walters suffered the loss inside the circle for the Highlanders on the afternoon, going three innings while allowing four hits and two runs (one earned). Abby Morrow closed out the game in relief, going the final 1.2 innings in allowing seven hits and six runs (one earned).
Charleston Southern is back on the road next week as CSU travels to Conway, S.C. to close out their season series against Coastal Carolina on Wednesday afternoon. The Bucs fell in both games of the doubleheader last week to the Chanticleers at the CCU Softball Field. First pitch in the Big South contest between the Bucs and Chants is set for 4 p.m.