MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The College of Charleston softball team suffered its first Southern Conference loss of the season, 4-5, against Elon in a back-and-forth series finale at Patriots Point on Sunday afternoon. The Cougars rallied from behind to take a sixth-inning league, but a three-run Elon seventh proved to be the difference.
After sweeping the doubleheader yesterday, CofC (13-10, 5-1 SoCon) saw its series-sweeping hopes spoiled in the loss.
Kelsey Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) belted her sixth homer of the year to tie the game in the fifth and Ashton Jarrett (Hanahan, S.C.) and Chandler Frisbie (Lawrenceville, Ga.) also provided RBIs in the losing effort.
While stranding five runners through the first two innings, the Cougars fell behind when Elon sparked a two-out rally in the top of the second. After a pair of soft groundball outs, Elon sprung for three straight hits capped off by Aly Qunitana’s two-RBI double to take the early 2-0 lead.
The score stayed there through the middle innings until CofC surged back to life in the fifth. An Elon fielding error put a runner aboard and Hodgson renewed the game with one swing of the bat, a towering two-out bomb to left.
In the sixth, the Cougars again rallied with two outs as Kristy Giragosian (Charlotte, N.C.) drew a two-out walk followed by an infield single from Mackenzie Maples (Corona, Calif.). Jarrett then flared a single into left and Giragosian flew around third and slid under the tag at the plate to give CofC the 3-2 lead.
Cougar pitcher Valerie Cassell (Livingston, N.J.) had been virtually perfect since entering the game in the third inning, but with their backs against the wall, the Phoenix got to her in the seventh.
The Cougars granted them a pair of runners with a fielding error and hit-by-pitch, and conference-leading Tomeka Watson singled to plate the game-tying run. Elon proceeded to load the bases and an RBI groundout and Grace Eng single pushed the score to 5-3.
The Cougars looked to tilt the scales yet again with another comeback effort in the bottom half of the seventh after Hodgson and Frisbie’s back-to-back doubles cut the score in half and put the game-tying run in scoring position. The Cougars would get the potential run to third, but it’d be stranded there and Elon escaped with the win.
The Cougars host Georgia Southern next weekend in a pivotal SoCon series which will feature two of the team’s top conferences. The Eagles will come to Patriots Point unblemished in SoCon play, and CofC will be one of three teams tied for first with a 5-1 record in SoCon play.
The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday and single game Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. on both days.