CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern and Campbell came down to the wire again in the final regular season game of the series with the Camels pushing across the eventual winning run in the top of the seventh as the Buccaneers fell on Senior Day, 1-0.
Senior right-hander Morgan Dowdy (4-6) carried a no-hit bid into the top of the seventh inning in her final game at the CSU Softball Field, but saw her bid end on a one-out Courtney Klingler double off the centerfield wall. Two batters later Brittany Bruce put a double in nearly the exact same spot to score pinch-runner Amanda Daw to for the first run in the game.
Charleston Southern rallied back in the bottom half of the inning as Stevi Johnson connected on a two-out single to centerfield and Brooke Holcomb followed with a walk to put two runners on against Campbell reliever Katie Baker. However, Baker retired Lizzy Olmstead on a groundout to second base to end the game and keep the shutout intact.
Dowdy (4-6) suffered the loss in the contest despite a standout effort inside the circle, allowing two hits and one run, while striking out six. She carried a no-hitter into the top of the seventh, allowing just one runner on base due to a walk issued to Bruce in the second inning, before Klingler's double.
Baker (13-10) picked up the win, going five innings in relief, allowing two hits while striking out three in the win. Olivia Scarborough earned the start on the rubber, going two innings in allowing two hits in the no decision.
On a beautiful day in Charleston, S.C., Dowdy put on a pitching clinic inside the circle for the Bucs, allowing just one runner on base in the first 20 batters that she faced, retiring 15 in a row at one point before Klingler's double ended the streak.
Baker proved her equal in a classic pitching duel as the Campbell freshman entered the game in the bottom of the third, retiring 10 Bucs in a row before Johnson's single in the seventh.
Charleston Southern threatened early in the bottom of the first as Amanda Matsumoto connected on her third triple of the season, drilling the 2-0 offering from Scarborough over the Campbell centerfielder's head with one out in the inning. However, the Bucs were unable to push her across as the score remained 0-0 after one.
CSU again threatened in the bottom of the second as Stephanie Bergmann led off the inning with a sharply hit single to right field. The CSU freshman shortstop stole second before Hayes Holdsworth drew a walk, putting two runners on with none out. Ari Tedesco's sacrifice bunt advanced both runners into scoring position, while Georgi DeLio drew a four pitch walk to load the bases. However, Scarborough again pitched out of the jam in retiring the final two batters of the inning.
Charleston Southern and Campbell now head to the 2014 Big South Conference Championships presented by Musco Sports Lighting, which start next week in Conway, S.C. First round action is set to begin on Thursday, May 8th, with the Championship Game set for noon on ESPNU. The full bracket and tournament field will be released on BigSouthSports.com.