MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - The College of Charleston softball team split its Wednesday afternoon doubleheader with Charleston Southern at Patriots Point with a 0-3 loss in the opener and 7-3 retaliation in game two.
The Cougars outhit the Buccaneers in both games but were kept off the scoreboard in the opening game by stranding 10 base runners. The second game saw the Cougars utilize clever base running and timely hitting to explode for seven runs and a convincing victory.
Mackenzie Maples (Corona, Calif.) led the way offensively for the Cougars in going 4-for-6 with three RBIs between the two games. Kelsey Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) and Ashton Jarrett (Hanahan, S.C.) also had four hits on the day.
Stephanie Saylors (Easley, S.C.) was tagged with the game-one loss despite pitching 6.2 innings without surrendering an earned run.
Hope Klicker (Walla Walla, Wash.) earned the game-two victory after going the distance and striking out five hitters.
GAME ONE: CofC: 0, Charleston Southern: 3 The Cougars outhit the Bucs, 10-9, but doomed themselves by leaving 10 runners stranded, six of which got to scoring position. The Cougars were also struck with misfortunes which got two runners picked off of third base on a pair of quirky plays.
Saylors silenced the Bucs through 5.2 innings but a seemingly harmless two-out single in the sixth proved costly when Linzy Rother doubled deep into the gap in left center to score the games' first run.
The CofC defense faltered in the seventh when a fielding error extended the inning and Jessica Brock and Megan Lombard made the Cougars pay with back-to-back RBI doubles.
GAME TWO: CofC: 7, Charleston Southern: 3 The Cougars were sharper in the second game with aggressiveness and awareness on the base paths combined with timely hitting resulting in their most run output since playing South Carolina State in early April. All of CofC's starters got on base at least one time in the game.
The Cougars got started right away when Carly Corthell (Reno, Nev.) was hit by a pitch as the leadoff hitter, stole second base and scored on Maples' RBI single.
CofC loaded the bases with their first three hitters of the second inning by way of a double from Amanda Lonergan (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), single by Vaughn and walk by Kristy Giragosian (Charlotte, N.C.). CSU looked to get out unscathed with two quick outs but Jarrett slapped a grounder to her opposite field and out of the reach of the third baseman to plate two runs. Corthell had reached on a fielder's choice in the inning and later scored on a wild pitch to make the score 4-0.
The Bucs took one back in the third but the Cougars hung up three more in the fourth to put the game further out of reach. Courtney Clark (Tampa, Fla.) walked in the inning and Jarrett legged out a bunt single before Maples singled to score both runners. Hodgson singled in the inning and stole home from third base on a failed pickoff maneuver.
CSU scored two runs on four hits in the fifth but would get no closer as Klicker put down their remaining six hitters in order to close out the victory.
NEXT UP: The Cougars head to Elon for their final three-game series of the regular season on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6.
CofC will then embark for Boone, N.C., for the Southern Conference Championships beginning on Wednesday, May 9 on the campus of Appalachian State.