MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The College of Charleston softball team extended its winning streak to six games with a doubleheader sweep of crosstown rival Charleston Southern by earning a pair of 3-2 victories at Patriots Point on Saturday afternoon, the first of which required nine innings.
CofC (28-12) bettered CofC twice despite being outhit and trailing in both contests by capitalizing on opportunities with timely hitting and pitching well out of jams.
The Cougars, now winners of six straight and 10 of their last 11, completed a four-game season sweep of the Lady Bucs.
“I thought Charleston Southern played really hard and really tough today,” said head coach Linda Kalafatis. “It took a really strong effort on our part. We were very solid defensively today, we had good pitching, and we had timely hitting. When you have those three things, that usually means success. Having a bye week from conference play, sometimes it’s hard to keep good focus, but these games count and are important so I’m happy with our intensity.”
Freshman Samantha Martin and junior Hope Klicker both tossed complete-game gems in order to keep the Cougars competitive until they received run support. Martin went nine complete innings in game one, scattering nine hits and striking out twelve in the affair. Klicker followed by going all seven innings in game two with eight hits and four strikeouts. The pair allowed just one walk between them.
The Cougars remain home for a midweek doubleheader against North Carolina Central on Wednesday, April 9 at 3 p.m. The Cougars then fly to Long Island, N.Y., for a pivotal Colonial Athletic Association series at Hofstra next weekend.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON: 3, CHARLESTON SOUTHERN: 2 (9 innings) (Box Score)
Game one saw the Cougars trailing for much of a highly contested pitchers’ duel, until finally rallying to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth and eventually stealing the game in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth.
CSU seized the lead when Georgi Delio and Stephanie Johnson doubled to start the innings, both of which landed directly on the foul line in right and left field, respectively. Brooke Holcomb homered in the inning which made the score 2-0, but CofC catcher Mackenzie Maples limited it to a solo shot when she gunned down Johnson trying to steal third during Holcomb’s at bat.
CofC hadn’t registered a hit before going to work in the fourth inning when Rebecca Mueller was hit by a pitch and given second base on a wild pitch which allowed her to score on an RBI single by Kelsey Hodgson. Katie Padilla then singled up the middle to score Hodgson and tie the game.
The pitchers then dominated the remaining innings of regulation, as they’d only allow three more hits before the game carried into extra innings.
In the eighth, Mueller and Jordan Trgovac singled to give the Cougars two base runners and an opportunity to end the game there, but CofC was unable to cash in and the game extended further.
Stephanie Bergmann led off the CSU ninth with a double to the wall in center, and came within 60 feet of scoring a go-ahead run when the Bucs moved her up with a sacrifice bunt. Martin kept her composure, however, and forced the next two hitters to lazily pop out and strike out to end the threat.
The Cougars followed suit with a leadoff double of their own in the bottom of the ninth, CofC’s coming off the bat of Maples and carrying over the head of the left fielder. Two batters later, Cassell hammered a ball off the wall in center which allowed Maples to score easily.
Mueller’s eighth-inning single extended a hitting streak to 10 games, the longest of any Cougar this season.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON: 3, CHARLESTON SOUTHERN: 2 (Box Score)
Both teams posted first-inning runs in game two, with the Lady Bucs manufacturing theirs with a leadoff walk, stolen base, and RBI single by Jessica Brock.
CSU primed CofC’s immediate response by hitting Lizzy Vaughn with a pitch and moving her to second on a throwing error on a failed pickoff attempt. Carly Corthell made them pay by driving an RBI single back up the middle to tie the game with just six pitches.
Klicker mitigated the CSU bats until she received further run support in the fourth when Cassell doubled and Chandler Frisbie singled to bring her around to the plate, giving CofC its first lead of game two.
The Cougars insured the lead in the next inning, as Corthell singled and Mueller was hit by a pitch and a double steal put the pair in scoring position. Corthell tagged up to score on an RBI sacrifice fly by Maples, giving the Cougars a 3-1 lead.
CSU showed signs of life and took a run back on two hits in the seventh, but Klicker reduced them to that to preserve the win.
Mueller went hitless in game two, but she did draw a walk to extend her reaching-base streak to 12 games.