CHARLESTON, S.C. – Georgi DeLio recorded her first home run of the 2017 season to wrap up the Wingate by Wyndham Invitational as Charleston Southern fell to USC Upstate 4-1 on Sunday afternoon.
DeLio's solo home run led the Buccaneers' (2-4) offense, while Arizona Pilgrim (1-3) went the distance in the circle for CSU allowing four runs (none earned) and striking out three in the complete game effort. Holly McKinnon led the Spartans (4-2) on the rubber for the duration of the game and contributed seven strikeouts in the Upstate win.
Upstate (4-2) got on the board in the second after Abbie Millete connected on a double to the left center gap. A CSU fielding error allowed pinch runner Kristen Wright to score for the 1-0 advantage. The Bucs threatened to respond in the bottom half of the inning as Kasinger followed a Brittany McPherson hit by pitch with a single up the middle to put the Bucs in position to score, but McKinnon (2-0) thwarted the opportunity with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
After a hitless third inning for both teams, a CSU comeback was within reach as the Buccaneers put runners on first and second with no outs. McKinnon once again dashed the Bucs' chance after a diving catch of an unexecuted bunt turned into a triple play to end the inning and the CSU rally.
The Spartans added two more runs for the 3-0 lead in the fifth. Brittany Case followed a CSU two-out error with a two-run double driving in Kendsey Chappalear and Ansley Gilstrap to extend the Upstate lead.
DeLio set up another comeback chance for the Buccaneers with a solo home run over right center for her first home run of the 2017 season and CSU's sixth of the weekend. McKinnon retired two batters to end the inning as the Bucs trailed 3-1 heading into the sixth.
Defense helped the Bucs in the top of the seventh as Pilgrim snagged a line drive back up the middle and DeLio picked off the runner at third. However, Upstate added a fourth run on CSU's third error of the game on a dropped fly ball allowing Brittany Case to score. Matsumoto was able to get the Bucs out of the top of the inning with a diving catch in center field.
CSU never got the bats going and closed the loss with a hitless seventh inning as McKinnon retired her seventh batter to end the game.
The Buccaneers now turn their attention to next week as they host Virginia, East Tennessee State and UNC Wilmington for the Buccaneer Invitational. CSU will play Virginia on Friday with first pitch set for noon.