BOONE, N.C. – The College of Charleston softball team fell, 7-5, to Appalachian State in a thrilling, homerun-riddled Southern Conference series opener on Friday evening. Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium served as a launching pad for six homeruns – four for the Cougars, two for the Apps – with the decisive one being a two-run walkoff shot from App State’s Sarah Loudermilk.
CofC (15-13, 6-3 SoCon) will look to seize the series with Saturday’s doubleheader. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m.
Kelsey Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) and Allison Pedigo (Scottsville, Ky.) each hit a pair of solo homeruns, and Lizzy Vaughn (Placerville, Calif.) drove a single off the fence to drive in the Cougars’ fifth run.
In the top of the first, Hodgson hammered the second pitch she saw onto the roof of the football practice facility beyond right center to give the Cougars the early lead, but the Apps quickly erased it and the Cougars would never get it back.
The Mountaineers’ answer was immediate, as Sarah Warnock led off the bottom half of the first with a double to the fence in right center, and Loudermilk singled through the right side to tie the game. Two batters later, Meghan Smith crushed an offering out to left for a two-out, two-run homerun and a 3-1 App State lead.
In the bottom of the third, Warnock initiated another run-scoring rally with a leadoff walk and later scored on an RBI single by Allie Cashion, one of the league’s most effective hitters this season.
Pedigo’s long balls in the second and fourth innings kept the deficit manageable, and Hodgson’s fifth inning blast leveled the teams at 4-4.
The Cougars committed a pair of fielding errors to surrender a run in the bottom of the fifth, but renewed the game right away in the top of the sixth. Kristy Giragosian (Charlotte, N.C.) singled up the middle and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt execution by Ashton Jarrett (Hanahan, S.C.). Vaughn crushed a line-drive single off the fence in the next at-bat, and Giragosian rounded third and scored easily to tie the game.
The Cougars were kept off the board in the top of the seventh, and Warnock once again got herself on base and scored her fourth run of the game on Loudermilk’s walkoff homer.