CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern fell to Radford in both ends of the doubleheader in the Big South Conference opener for both squads as the Buccaneers dropped 4-1 and 3-1 decisions to the visiting Highlanders.
In a battle of pitching duels between CSU (12-16, 0-2) and Radford (16-6, 2-0), the Highlanders proved to be victorious. Abby Morrow (9-5) out-pitched Hayley Elkins (6-10) in the opening game, while Lexie Vanada broke up RU's Kayla Huffman's no-hit bit with one out in the seventh as CSU fell in the nightcap.
CSU and Radford close out the three game series tomorrow afternoon at the CSU Softball Field. First pitch on the Big South Network between the Bucs and the Highlanders is set for 2 p.m.
Game One: Radford 4, Charleston Southern 1
Radford's Kayla Yow broke open the first game of the afternoon with a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning as the Highlanders topped the Bucs in the first game of the afternoon.
Charleston Southern mounted a late comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning as Jade Gandara connected on a one-out double to right field. Sydney Garling came in to pinch-run, advancing to third on a passed ball before scoring on Stephanie Bergmann's sacrifice fly to left field to put the Bucs on the board.
However, Morrow stranded CSU's Stephanie Baro at third base in the bottom of the seventh to end CSU's comeback attempt in the Bucs' loss.
Elkins went the distance in the loss for the Bucs, allowing six hits and four runs, while striking out five. Her counterpart, Morrow, limited CSU to five hits, while striking out one in the win.
Radford scored in the top of the first as Marissa Gagliano made her way around the bases. Gagliano reached on a leadoff single to left. After stealing second, she scored on Casey Burns' RBI single up the middle to give the Highlanders the 1-0 lead.
Burns gave RU the 2-0 lead in the third with an RBI double to centerfield, scoring Gagliano.
Yow expanded on the lead with her two out, two-run home run to centerfield scoring Becky Mantel.
The Bucs rallied back in the sixth, but were unable to close the gap in the loss.
Game Two: Radford 3, Charleston Southern 1
Lexie Vanada broke the Highlanders' no-hit bid in the bottom of the seventh with a single up the middle and the Bucs scored on a Radford error in the third, but CSU was unable to keep pace in falling in the nightcap, 3-1.
CSU tied the game up at 1-1 in the bottom of the third as Cierra Robinson scored on Natalie Yonan's sacrifice bunt attempt as the RU relay to first was thrown into right field. However, that was all the offense CSU was able to muster in the loss.
Hayley Elkins (6-11) struck out five in a relief effort for CSU as the sophomore right-hander went the final 4.2 innings in the contest. She allowed three hits and two runs (one earned), in the loss. Arizona Pilgrim started the game in the circle going the first 2.1 innings in allowing three hits and a run scored.
Huffman went the distance for the Highlanders in the win. She allowed just the Vanada single while striking out four in the contest.
Hannah Medlam pushed the first run across the plate in the top of the second inning with an RBI single up the middle scoring Kayla Bishton.
The Bucs answered in the third as McPherson led off the inning getting hit by a pitch. With Robinson in to run, Georgi DeLio sacrificed her over to second with the bunt. Yonan followed with a bunt down the third baseline, but Huffman's throw to first skipped past the bag allowing Robinson to score on the play and tie the game up at 1-1.
Mantel gave the Highlanders the 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth with a two-out double to centerfield, scoring Gagliano.
Radford added an insurance run in the seventh as Yow singled to centerfield scoring Nia Chiles for the final score.