MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The College of Charleston softball team split a defensively-oriented doubleheader with Georgia Southern on a weather-adjusted Saturday afternoon at Patriots Point. The Eagles eked out a 2-1 win in a nine-inning first game, but Chandler Frisbie drove in three runs and scored twice to account for all the runs in CofC’s bounce-back 4-3 victory.
Stephanie Saylors (Easley, S.C.) earned the game two victory after going six innings and striking out eight. Valerie Cassell (Edison, N.J.) earned her first career save after entering the game in the seventh and working the Cougars out of a jam.
Frisbie (Lawrenceville, Ga.) belted her second career homer to put CofC up early in game two, and later scored again in the fourth and drove in her third RBI in the fifth to add to the Cougar lead. The insurance runs would prove necessary as the Eagles mounted a comeback effort late, but Cassell – with the help of some strong defensive plays – thwarted the effort.
Kelsey Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) went long in game number one, and the Cougars got several dazzling run-preventing plays out of shortstop Lizzy Vaughn (Placerville, Calif.) who ended the day with 10 assists and three putouts.
The loss marked the first Southern Conference loss for the Eagles this season, and also their first in their last 10 regular season SoCon contests.
CofC (14-11, 6-2 SoCon) is in sole possession of second place behind the Eagles presently. Weather permitting, the teams will conclude the series with a single game at Sunday slated for 1 p.m.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON: 1, GEORGIA SOUTHERN: 2 (9 INNINGS)
The first game was predictably a pitchers’ duel between two of league’s most dominant pitchers. Hope Klicker (Walla Walla, Wash.) was in the circle for the Cougars and was tagged with the loss despite pitching nine innings and only allowing two runs and striking out four.
Her counterpart, preseason SoCon Pitcher of the Year Sarah Purvis, also went the distance and held the Cougars to one run on six hits.
The Eagles first took the lead in the third inning when Alexa Lewis singled for GSU’s first hit of the game and Kaitlyn Johnson doubled to plate the run.
Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) erased the lead with one swing of the bat in the bottom half of the inning with her eighth homerun blast of the season, a carrying ball to straightaway center.
The teams stayed deadlocked at one for the rest of the contest until the top of the ninth, when Andrea Tarashuk singled to start the inning and later scored on an RBI single from Lewis.
Allison Pedigo (Scottsville, Ky.) drew a walk to give the Cougars life in their half of the ninth, but would ultimately become the Cougars eighth stranded runner in the loss.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON: 4, GEORGIA SOUTHERN: 3
Frisbie’s moonshot granted CofC the early game two lead, and the Cougars would ultimately never relinquish it to split the doubleheader. Her blast came on a 1-2, two-out pitch with Vaughn aboard in the bottom of the first inning.
The freshman walked to lead off the fourth inning, and moved up on a Pedigo groundout before scoring on an RBI single by Mackenzie Maples (Corona, Calif.).
Down 3-0 in the fifth, the Eagles began to fight back and Shelby Morrill doubled to left center to score two runs and cut into the deficit.
The Cougars tacked on a vital insurance run when Carly Corthell (Reno, Nev.) and Hodgson singled and Frisbie hit a groundball to the shortstop which allowed Corthell to score in the fifth.
The Georgia Southern seventh saw Kaitlyn Johnson walk and Kourtny Thomas double to put the tying run on second base with no outs. Tabby Douberley then singled on a ball which went up the middle and was fielded by second baseman Ashton Jarrett (Hanahan, S.C.). Johnson scored easily on the play, and Thomas appeared to assume Jarrett had gone to first base to get Douberley and rounded third to score. Jarrett had actually held the throw, and instead fired home to gun down Thomas and end the threat.