MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - The College of Charleston softball team swept its doubleheader against crosstown rival Charleston Southern with 3-0 and 3-1 wins at Patriots Point on Wednesday evening.
Junior pitcher Stephanie Saylors (Easley, S.C.) struck out a career-high 12 batters in the opener as she pitched seven innings of scoreless softball in which she held the Bucs to three hits and four total baserunners. Saylors improved to 2-0 with the game-one win and later entered the second game in a jam in the sixth inning and allowed just one base runner in two innings of work to earn a save.
Hope Klicker (Walla Walla, Wash.) pitched the first five innings of the second game and earned the win with five strikeouts and no earned runs.
Kelsey Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) delivered a two-run home run in both games and had five RBIs on the day.
GAME ONE: CofC: 3, Charleston Southern: 0
The first game was a pitchers' duel through five innings until the Cougars were able to find their offense in the sixth inning. Ashton Jarrett (Hanahan, S.C.) got the bats started with a double to left center and scored later in the inning by way of a Lizzy Vaughn (Placerville, Calif.) RBI single. Hodgson was the next batter after Vaughn and hammered a 1-1 pitch deep over the fence in left to put CofC up 3-0.
Saylors only allowed the Bucs to reach base in three innings and put 12 hitters down on strikes, besting her previous career high of 11 which she achieved twice last season.
GAME TWO: CofC: 3, Charleston Southern: 1
The second game saw Hodgson deliver another two-run shot with Jarrett aboard in the third to take an early 2-0 lead.
The Cougars put themselves in a threatening position again in the fifth with no-out singles by Jarrett and Carly Corthell (Reno, Nev.). Vaughn moved the runners to second and third and Hodgson delivered once more with an RBI single back up the middle to move the score to 3-1.
In the sixth, Charleston Southern plated a run and loaded the bases with no outs before Saylors checked back into the pitching circle. Saylors worked out of the jam with a flyout and pair of strikeouts to preserve CofC's lead.
The Cougars host another full weekend of softball with the CofC Cougar Classic at Patriots Point this weekend. This Classic brings to town Virginia Tech, Middle Tennessee, Lipscomb, Wagner and Louisiana Monroe.
The Cougars open play with a 4 p.m. bout with Middle Tennessee on Friday, Feb. 24.