CHARLESTON, S.C. - The College of Charleston softball team split its nonconference doubleheader against Charleston Southern at Buccaneer field on Wednesday afternoon. The Cougars fell in the opener, 2-5, but bounced back to claim a 5-3 win in the 64th edition of the rivalry.
The Cougars move to 29-17 on the year while Charleston Southern slides to 21-28. Both teams' losses snapped four game winning streaks.
The Cougars will break for 10 days before hosting Western Carolina in a three-game Southern Conference series at Patriots Point on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, April 1. The Saturday doubleheader will serve as the Cougar's Senior Day and they will honor the special careers of five outstanding seniors.
Alexa Datko (San Diego, Calif.) pitched well in the opener but was a victim of misfortune as all of CSU's contact seemed to find holes. She was tagged with a loss for the first time in six appearances.
Stephanie Saylors (Easley, S.C.) pitched 6.1 innings of the second game and earned the win with five strikeouts. Saylors held CSU hitless through the first three innings.
Jen Rosene (Charlotte, N.C.) appeared in both games and earned a save in the second. She pitched a total of two innings allowing one hit and striking out one.
GAME ONE: CofC: 2, Charleston Southern: 5
Charleston Southern plated a run in the third and two in both the fourth and fifth innings and held the Cougars to two total runs to snap CofC's four-game winning streak.
The Cougars broke the scoreless draw in the top of the third inning with a double over the head of the Lady Buc center fielder Melissa Adams by Lizzy Vaughn (Placerville, Calif.) followed by a clutch, two-out RBI single back up the middle by Kelsey Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) who became the first Cougar to 20 RBIs this season.
The Lady Bucs equalized in their half of the third, however, when Megan Lombard doubled into the gap in right center and Jessica Brock plated her with an infield single. Katie Pesature (Brewster, N.Y.) got CofC out of the inning when she gunned down Courtney Konyk - who had pinch ran for Brock - attempting to steal second.
CSU continued its offense in the fourth when Trea Steele singled to a diving Vaughn at shortstop and was able to beat the throw to first base. Melanie Stickney then tripled to left and Ari Tedesco blooped in an infield single to move the score to 3-1. Datko fielded her position to get out of the inning with an extended catch towards the third base line and doubled off the runner who had taken off thinking the ball was unreachable.
CofC took one back in the fifth when Carly Corthell (Reno, Nev.) got herself to third with a hard-hit single to right and two stolen bases before Katie Forbes (Odessa, Fla.) brought her in with a sacrifice fly to center.
CSU tacked on runs for the third inning in a row in the fifth with a Kristin Kelleher walk, Lombard's second double of the game and a two-RBI single for Jana Matthews.
GAME TWO: CofC: 5, Charleston Southern: 3
Hodgson went 3-for-4 in the second game with an RBI while Forbes drove in two runs with one swing to lead CofC to the bounce-back victory in game two.
The Cougars claimed the first run in game two as well when, in the first inning, Vaughn walked and Forbes and Hodgson singled to load the bases for Pesature who scored Vaughn with an RBI sacrifice fly.
After a quiet second inning, CofC broke out in the third and by the time the dust settled, six straight Cougars reached base - inclusive of a fielder's choice - and three runs scored. Vaughn started the rally with an infield single before Forbes crushed her fifth home run of the season over the leftfield fence. Hodgson then dropped a single in over the pitcher's head; Pesature reached on the fielder's choice; Kristi Woodall (Huntersville, N.C.) doubled deep into the gap, scoring Pesature; and Katie Nutaitis (Vienna, Va.) hit a hard, line-drive single through the right side.
The Lady Bucs registered their first hits of the game and got on the board in the fourth with an infield single by Lombard who advanced to second on an errant throw into the first base dugout. Matthews then moved the unearned run across with a double to the leftfield fence.
The Lady Bucs loaded the bases and cut into CofC's lead with two runs in the seventh but Rosene shut them down to preserve the win and earn the save.