GREENVILLE, S.C. – The College of Charleston softball team opens the Southern Conference season with a three-game series at Furman on Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday and single game on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. on both days.
OUT OF THE BOX
The Cougars are looking to bounce back from an arduous weekend in which they went 1-4 at the Citrus Classic. The Cougars were on short rest and had to face two top-15 teams and a third which was receiving votes in the USA Today / NFCA Top 25 poll.
The losses came to then-ranked No. 9 Texas A&M, No. 13 Louisiana Lafayette, James Madison – which was receiving votes – and Hofstra. The Cougars got back in the win column with an 11-3 victory over Georgetown in which Kelsey Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) induced the run rule with a fifth-inning grand slam.
Prior to the Citrus Classic, the Cougars strung together seven consecutive victories including a thrilling 3-1 victory over the Lady Vols of Tennessee who were ranked No. 7 at the time.
The Cougars are now batting .231 as a unit led by freshman Chandler Frisbie (Lawrenceville, Ga.) who is hitting .342 with three doubles, a home run and eight RBIs.
Carly Corthell (Reno, Nev.) is hitting .317 as the regular leadoff hitter for the Cougars and contributes to CofC’s .348 on-base percentage from leadoff batters across every inning this season.
The Cougars have used the leadoff success to manufacture runs by going 13-for-14 (.928) on stolen base attempts and batting .282 with runners on base compared to .181 with the bases empty. CofC has gotten RBIs out of nine hitters this season. Hodgson leads the group with 13 followed by Frisbie’s eight.
Furman enters the series at 8-8 and on a three-game losing skid under first-year head coach Kyle Jamieson.
They most recently dropped a pair of games versus Kennesaw State at Pepsi Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. The Owls squeaked out 4-3 and 1-0 victories in the doubleheader.
Sophomore Ambree Muller leads the Paladins at the plate batting .350 with two homers and six RBI while fellow sophomore Taylor Jenkins has hit .295 with three homers and 13 runs batted in through 16 games.
Junior Lauren Collier, who has allowed just one run on five hits in her last 16 innings or work, has paced the Paladin pitching staff with a 4-3 record and 1.98 earned run average. Freshman Meaghan Houston has fashioned a 3.02 ERA and held opponents to a .226 batting average despite just a 3-4 record in the circle.
The squad is batting .261 this season and has both scored and surrendered 56 runs this season while narrowly being outhit (109-110) by its opponents this season.
Saturday’s opener will mark the 70th meeting between the two intrastate rivals with the Paladins clinging to a narrow 36-33 all-time advantage.
The Cougars have been clawing away at the deficit recently and have taken six of the last seven contests over the past two seasons.
Last year, the Cougars swept the series without surrendering a run at Patriots Point. Stephanie Saylors (Easley, S.C.) threw two complete-game shutouts and Hope Klicker (Walla Walla, Wash.) added a third from the pitching circle.
AVAILABLE FOR THE SERIES
The first game on Saturday and the series finale on Sunday can be viewed through a subscription-based webstream available through FurmanPaladins.com.
Live stats will be available for all three contests and the team’s Twitter account (@CofCSoftball) will again be active with updates and analysis throughout the weekend.
The Cougars will look to take down another Southeastern Conference team with a doubleheader against Mississippi State at Patriots Point on Thursday, March 14 at 3 p.m.
The Cougars then stay home to host Elon in a three-game SoCon set on Saturday, March 16 and Sunday, March 17.