CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern rallied back in a wild game at the CSU Softball Field on Tuesday afternoon as the Buccaneers took the 10-9 win over visiting Columbia.
Sydney Garling scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning on an errant throw by the Columbia (3-11) catcher on Destini Ewing's stolen base to give the Bucs (12-13) their third straight win, second straight over the Lions.
CSU's Hayley Elkins (6-8) pitched around a Tonia Wu double in the top of the seventh inning to close out the ballgame, getting the grounder from Maura Lynch back up the middle for the final out to secure the CSU win. Elkins went the final two innings in relief, allowing two hits while striking out two in the win.
Stephanie Baro went 3-for-5 from the plate with two RBI, two runs scored and a double, while Stephanie Bergmann (2-for-3) and Caitlyn Emberson (2-for-3) also had multiple hits in the game. As a team, CSU recorded 11 hits with nine different batters reaching base in the contest against Columbia.
CU's Tessa Kroll (1-5) suffered the loss for the Lions, going the final 3.0 innings in allowing two runs (one earned).
The offense started early in the game as the teams combined for six runs in the first inning.
Columbia took the early 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning with four Lions connecting on doubles during the frame. Kayla Maloney's two-run double in the right center gap scored Wu and Alexandra Yule to stake the Lions to the early lead.
CSU rallied back with one out in the second inning, taking advantage of a Lions' error to narrow the margin down to 4-2. Natalie Yonan scored on a fielding error, while Lexie Vanada had an RBI single in the frame for the Bucs.
The Bucs broke the game open in the third inning as CSU sent 10 batters to the plate. Baro connected on an RBI double scoring Bergmann for the first run of the inning. Emberson and Brittany McPherson added RBI singles to give the Bucs the 5-4 lead with one out. Amanda Matsumoto brought in the sixth CSU run on a fielder's choice, while Bergmann drove in the final run of the inning to give the Bucs the 7-4 lead after three innings.
CSU added two more runs in the fourth. Baro picked up her second RBI of the game with a run-scoring single bringing in Stevi Johnson, while Destini Ewing reached on a fielder's choice scoring Baro to give the Bucs the 9-4 lead.
Columbia battled back in the fifth against CSU reliever Nicole Ayala, tying the game up on Lynch's RBI single. Prior to the single, Wu and Maloney connected on back-to-back two-run doubles knotting the game up at 9-9.
The Bucs went ahead for good in the sixth inning as Baro reached on a throwing error to open the inning. Garling came in to run and was sacrificed over to second on Georgi DeLio's bunt. McPherson's groundout advanced Garling to third. After a walk was issued to Ewing, the CSU second baseman took off for second, drawing the throw from the Columbia catcher. The throw sailed between the fielders moving to the bag, allowing Garling to score standing up for the game-winning run.
Charleston Southern continues non-conference play at home tomorrow afternoon as the Bucs host Syracuse at the CSU Softball Field. First pitch between the Bucs and the Orange on the Big South Conference is set for 3 p.m.