CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern was unable to rally back from an early deficit as the Buccaneers fell to visiting College of Charleston on Tuesday afternoon at the CSU Softball Field, 6-1.
Stevi Johnson drove in the lone Buccaneer (15-19) run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third, while Amanda Matsumoto, Stephanie Bergmann, Brooke Lein and Caitlyn Emberson all had singles for CSU in the loss.
Hayley Elkins (7-14) went the first six innings in suffering the loss in the circle for the Bucs. The sophomore right-hander allowed six runs (four earned), while striking out four. Nicole Ayala closed out the game in the final inning, retiring the Cougars in order.
Carly Hansis broke open a close game for the Cougars (22-11) with a two-run single in the top of the fifth, while Sydney Shipley (8-4) picked up the win in the circle for CofC. Shipley went three innings in the contest, allowing two hits in picking up the win.
The Cougars opened the scoring in the top of the first. Rebecca Mueller brought in the first run on a fielder's choice, scoring Taylor Dupree on the grounder to first base. In the confusion on the play, Dana Horgan also crossed the plate giving the Cougars the 2-0 lead. Katie Padilla added an RBI double scoring Mueller to give CofC the 3-0 lead in the first.
CSU narrowed the margin in the bottom of the third on Johnson's sacrifice fly. Matsumoto was hit by a pitch to open the frame and made her way around the bases on a stolen base and a passed ball. Johnson worked a full count against CofC reliever Valerie Cassell before driving a sacrifice fly to left field allowing Matsumoto to cross the plate.
CofC added two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth in closing out the scoring in the contest. Hansis connected on a two-run single scoring Kashmir Huckaby and Dupree in the fifth, while Huckaby drove in Jordin Jones with a grounder in the sixth to give the Cougars the 6-1 lead.
The Bucs mounted a rally in the bottom of the seventh as Lein and Emberson opened the frame with back-to-back singles, and Brittany McPherson reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases with none out. However, CofC reliever Brittany Violette ended the Bucs' threat retiring the final three outs to close out the ball game.
Charleston Southern returns to the road this weekend as CSU continues Big South Conference play at Gardner-Webb and Brinkley Stadium. The Bucs and Runnin' Bulldogs open play with a doubleheader on Saturday at 4 p.m. The series ends on Sunday with first pitch set for 2 p.m.