STATESBORO, Ga. - The College of Charleston softball team suffered a 4-3 loss to first-place Georgia Southern in the back-and-forth Southern Conference series finale at Eagle Field on Sunday afternoon.
In a game where a matter of inches on several plays proved to be the difference, the teams exchanged leads three times and ended three different innings with the score tied.
The Cougars outhit the Eagles, 9-7 in the contest led by Ashton Jarrett (Hanahan, S.C.) going 2-for-2 on the day and eight different Cougars registering hits.
The Eagles claimed an early lead when they loaded up the bases with one out in the third inning via a single and double followed by an intentional walk to the unoccupied first base. Mackenzie Williams then drew an RBI walk to account for the game's first run. Saylors regrouped and dealt a strikeout and forced a lazy flyout to center to limit the Eagles to just one run.
The Cougars responded in the fifth when Mackenzie Maples (Corona, Calif.) started the frame with a double down the right field line. CofC then loaded up the bases when the Eagles failed to record an out on an empty fielder's choice and Courtney Clark (Tampa, Fla.) slid her sacrifice-bunt attempt between the pitcher and third baseman for an infield single.
Pasquale then came in as a pinch hitter and put a chopped groundball barely out of the reach of the Eagle third baseman for an infield single which plated the game-tying run.
The Eagles proceeded to once again load the bases with just one out in the fifth but Saylors again calmly pitched out of the jam by forcing a pair of harmless fly balls to keep the game tied.
The Cougars then seized the lead in the sixth with three consecutive two-out singles by Amanda Lonergan (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), Chloe Fletcher (Land O' Lakes, Fla.) and Allison Pedigo (Scottsville, Ky.). Fletcher and Pedigo moved up a base when the Eagles unsuccessfully tried to throw Lonergan out at the plate and then Kristy Giragosian (Charlotte, N.C.) provided an insurance run with her bloop single to right field.
The insurance would ultimately prove to be in vain as the Eagles were able to put together a two-out rally of their own in the bottom of the inning. After Jarrett initiated and turned a clever 4-3 double play, the Eagles tagged a double and a triple which were both marginally out of the reach of the Cougar outfielders. After a walk put runners on the corners, Marie Fogle dropped a ball into the smallest of holes between the right fielder Giragosian and second baseman Jarrett which allowed everybody to score and give GSU the 4-3 lead.
The Cougars were able to get runners to second and third in the seventh but eventually stranded them there and suffered the tough defeat.
The Cougars break from SoCon play with a midweek doubleheader at crosstown-rival Charleston Southern on Wednesday, April 18 starting at 2 p.m.