CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern was unable to hold off a late inning comeback by Michigan State as the Buccaneers fell on the opening day of the Holy City Showdown to the Spartans, 7-5.
The Bucs (9-12) took the 4-0 lead after the top of the second inning and led 5-3 after three, but the Spartans (10-10) rallied back with four unanswered runs late in taking the win at the Patriots Point Athletic Complex.
Amanda Matsumoto led the Bucs offensive efforts with the leadoff batter going 2-for-4 from the plate with an RBI single in the third inning. She added her team-leading 13th stolen base in the game in the loss.
Hayley Elkins (4-7) suffered the loss for the Bucs in a relief role, coming in for CSU in the bottom of the second inning. She went 5.0 innings, allowing seven hits and four runs (two earned), while striking out three in the loss.
Michigan State's Kristina Zalewski (5-5) started the game, then re-entered the circle in the top of the third in picking up the win. She went 5.2 innings in the circle in allowing five hits and four runs while striking out seven.
After a scoreless first inning, the Bucs struck first in the top of the second as CSU took advantage of a bases-loaded situation in scoring four runs. Georgi DeLio opened the scoring with an RBI single up the middle scoring Stevi Johnson. Destini Ewing followed with an RBI single scoring Stephanie Baro, while Natalie Yonan drew a walk allowing Ashtin Kullnat to cross the plate. Stephanie Bergmann closed out the inning getting hit by a pitch scoring Sydney Garling to give the Bucs the 4-0 lead.
MSU responded in the bottom half of the inning as Shanin Thompson connecting on a three-run home run scoring Lindsey Besson and Jacquie Reiser to narrow the Bucs lead down to 4-3.
Matsumoto's run-scoring single in the top of the third gave the Bucs the 5-3 lead, scoring Cierra Robinson on the play.
Michigan State took advantage of a pair of CSU errors in the bottom of the fourth to even the game up at 5-5. Kelly Zackrison scored on a CSU throwing error on a stolen base attempt, while Celeste Wood connected on a two-out RBI single scoring Lea Foerster to tie the game up.
The Spartans scored runs in both the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings to take the 7-5 lead. McKenzie Long drew a bases-loaded walk scoring Besson in the fifth, while Lexi White grounded out in the sixth with Ebonee Echols scoring on the play.
In the Bucs final at-bats, CSU attempted to mount the comeback. Johnson was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and Georgi DeLio drew a two-out walk to put the winning run at the plate. However, Zalewski was able to minimized the damage in getting the final out to close out the game.
Charleston Southern is back in action tomorrow afternoon at the Holy City Showdown hosted by College of Charleston at Patriots Point as the Bucs take on No. 10/12 Georgia. First pitch between CSU and the Bulldogs is set for 2:30 p.m.