CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern dropped the first game of the weekend series against Longwood on Friday afternoon despite a powerful hitting display by Lexie Vanada as the Buccaneers fell to the Lancers at the CSU Softball Field, 4-2.
Vanada connected on a pair of solo home runs for CSU, driving the ball out of the park in both the second and the fourth innings, and added a single in the seventh inning to finish 3-for-3 from the plate on the day. The junior utility player took the overall team lead for home runs on the season with four following today's contest.
SCHEDULE UPDATE: Charleston Southern and Longwood will continue their series tomorrow morning as the Buccaneers and Lancers will start their doubleheader at 9 a.m. on the CSU Softball Field. The games will be streamed live via the Big South Network.
Hayley Elkins (6-13) went the distance in the circle for the Bucs (13-18, 1-3) today, hurling all seven innings in allowing seven hits and four runs (three earned). The sophomore right-hander struck out four in the contest.
Elizabeth McCarty (8-5) went the first 5.1 innings in recording the win for the Lancers (14-9, 4-0). Sydney Gay recorded her first save on the season, striking out three of the six batters she faced in the contest.
The Lancers opened the scoring in the top of the second as Krista Kelly scored on a CSU throwing error on a stolen base attempt, while Karleigh Donovan drove in Justina Augustine with an RBI single in the inning. Kelly opened the scoring on her stolen base attempt, with the throw down to third sailing into left field allowing her to score. Donovan followed with her single scoring Augustine to give the Lancers the 2-0 lead.
Vanada put the Bucs on the board in the bottom of the second with a leadoff home run off of McCarthy. Vanada drilled the 2-1 offering into the wind and over the fence in left center to narrow the Longwood margin to 2-1.
Kelly led off the top of the fourth with a triple and came around to score on Augustine's double to give the Lancers the 3-1 lead.
CSU responded in the bottom half of the inning as Vanada drilled a two-out solo home run over the right field fence.
Longwood pushed the final run across the plate in the top of the fifth as Emily Murphy drilled an RBI double down the left field line, scoring Glenn Walters, to give the Lancers the 4-2 lead.
The Bucs mounted a rally in the bottom of the seventh as Stephanie Baro drew a leadoff walk and Vanada followed with a single down the right field line to put two on with none out. However, Gay retired the final three batters, two on strikes, in closing out the Lancer win.