GREENVILLE, S.C. – The College of Charleston softball team opened the Southern Conference season with a doubleheader sweep of Furman at Pepsi Field on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars rode to 3-0 and 4-1 victories behind shutdown pitching and eight offensive hits in both games.
Hope Klicker (Walla Walla, Wash.) went the distance in game one to earn her fourth complete-game victory of the season and improve to 6-3 overall on the year.
The Cougars provided her with late run support by rallying in the sixth and seventh innings to break up the scoreless pitchers’ duel. Freshman Chandler Frisbie (Lawrenceville, Ga.) went 3-for-4 and drove in the game-winning RBI in the sixth and Hodgson provided insurance with a two-run homer in the seventh.
In game two, Saylors held the Paladins to three hits and struck out six while Giragosian and Hodgson provided the offensive fireworks and late RBIs by Lizzy Vaughn (Placerville, Calif.) and Rebecca Mueller (Fair Oaks, Calif.) put the game further out of reach.
CofC (10-7, 2-0 SoCon) will finish the series at Furman (8-10, 0-2 SoCon) with a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. as the Cougars look for their second-straight series sweep of the Paladins.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON: 3, FURMAN: 0
Klicker silenced the Furman bats by spreading four hits across seven innings while striking out four and forcing 14 Paladins to ground out. After being held scoreless and leaving the bases loaded in the fifth, the Cougars broke the scoreless pitchers’ duel in the late innings and cruised behind Klicker to victory.
Ashton Jarrett (Hanahan, S.C.) laid down a bunt to lead off the sixth inning and took second base when the Paladin throw from third base sailed into the right field corner. Frisbie capitalized on the opportunity with a line-drive single to center and Jarrett, who was running as soon the ball was hit, rounded third and slid under the tag at the plate to put CofC up 1-0.
Rebecca Mueller (Fair Oaks, Calif.) doubled to start the seventh inning before Hodgson sent a towering shot to her opposite field which sailed along the right field line and narrowly stayed left of the foul pole to push CofC’s lead to 3-0.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON: 4, FURMAN: 1
Saylors would pitch all seven innings of game two and wouldn’t surrender an earned run in order to lead the Cougars to the game-two victory.
The runs came earlier for the Cougars than they did in game one, as Giragosian and Hodgson hit solo home runs to an almost-identical spot in left center in the second and third innings, respectively.
The Paladins scored their only run on the day in the fourth inning off two hits and an RBI sacrifice fly to left from Sierra Bishop. The run was the Paladins’ first in their last four games against the Cougars, as CofC swept last year’s series by 4-0, 4-0 and 1-0 scores.
The Cougars reconstructed a multiple-run lead in the fifth inning which Mackenzie Maples (Corona, Calif.) led off with a hard-hit single through the right side, her second hit of the game. The Cougars proceeded to load the bases when the Paladins took a failed attempt at getting the lead runner out at second base and Allison Pedigo (Scottsville, Ky.) provided a pinch-hit single. Vaughn and Mueller then both sent ground balls back towards the middle which would score runs and put CofC up 4-1, the eventual final.
Six Cougars combined for their eight hits with Hodgson and Maples both going 2-for-3 in the game.