ORANGEBURG, S.C. - Freshman pitcher Hope Klicker threw her first career perfect game in the second game of a 9-0, 6-0 doubleheader sweep by the College of Charleston softball team at South Carolina State on Tuesday afternoon.
The Cougars, now winners of 11 straight games, produced 18 hits on the day and got complete-game shutouts out of both starting pitchers.
Klicker (Walla Walla, Wash.) was perfect in the pitching circle in game two and struck out a career-high 16 batters, only requiring five outs of her defense as the Cougars sailed to a 6-0 victory.
Stephanie Saylors (Easley, S.C.) pitched a complete game in the first game and struck out 10 hitters while not issuing a single walk and only allowing two hits and two total base runners. She has now thrown complete games in her last 11 outings and only allowed four runs in her last 56 innings of work.
Kelsey Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) hit a grand slam in game one which surged CofC to a 9-run fifth-and-final inning of the game.
Carly Corthell (Reno, Nev.) went 4-for-4 in game two with an RBI and two runs scored. Klicker, aside from throwing a perfect game, was also 2-for-4 at the plate and scored a run.
GAME ONE: CofC: 9, SC State: 0 Saylors held the Bulldogs to two hits and didn't allow a base runner until the fourth inning and received run support when the Cougars exploded for nine runs in the top of the fifth. She struck out the first four hitters to step into the box on her way to a 10-strikeout outing, her fifth double-digit game of the season.
The Cougars' bats were quiet until the fifth inning when they loaded the bases and scored a run off two singles and two walks before Hodgson crushed her eighth home run of the season to put CofC up 5-0. From there, Amanda Lonergan (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) tripled and scored before the Cougars reloaded the bases off a couple fielding errors and a hit batsman. Courtney Clark (Tampa, Fla.) drove in a run with an RBI groundout and Lauren Pasquale (Zephyrhills, Fla.) capped off the nine-run inning with a two-RBI double.
GAME TWO: CofC: 6, SC State: 0 Klicker was untouchable in the second game and the Cougars plated a run in the second, third and fifth before hanging up three in the seventh to cruise to their 11th straight victory.
Klicker provided herself with a supporting run when she singled in the second inning, stole second base and later scored on a Bulldog throwing error.
CofC doubled their lead in the third when Corthell doubled to start the frame and then Hodgson did the exact same to take her place on second base and pick up her fifth RBI of the afternoon.
In the fifth, Corthell picked up her third base hit of the game and crossed the plate later in the inning on an RBI single by Mackenzie Maples (Corona, Calif.).
Though Klicker wouldn't require any additional support, the Cougars put the game further out of reach in the top of the seventh with a leadoff double by Lizzy Vaughn (Placerville, Calif.) and then RBI singles from Corthell, Kristy Giragosian (Charlotte, N.C.) and Blakeney Sitton (Tucson, Ariz.).