CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern was unable to overcome Kaylynn Batten's bat and a strong pitching performance by Sydney Gay as the Buccaneers fell to Longwood in the weekend opener against the Lancers, 4-2.
Longwood (16-8, 4-0) connected on a trio of doubles in the top of the first to take the early lead and Sydney Gay (10-5) handled it the rest of the way as the Bucs (17-15, 1-3) kept the game close but were unable to put the go-ahead run across the plate late in the contest.
Batten was 2-for-2 from the plate with a double, triple, and three runs scored to lead the Lancers' offense in the contest as a stiff wind coming from centerfield kept several deep fly balls from both teams in the park on Friday afternoon.
Arizona Pilgrim (6-7) suffered the loss in the circle despite a strong relief appearance for the Bucs. Pilgrim went the final 6.2 innings allowing four hits and two runs while striking out three. Holly Clark went the first 0.1 innings in the no-decision.
Gay went the distance in the complete-game effort against the Bucs. The right-hander surrendered three hits and two runs (one earned), while striking out seven in the win.
Longwood struck in the top of the first inning as Jordan Clark led off the game with a double to right centerfield. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, she scored on Batten's double to right center for the first run of the game. Karleigh Donovan followed with a double to right field scoring Batten and giving the Lancers the 2-0 lead. Pilgrim entered the contest two batters later and retired Jessica Smith and Glenn Walters to limit Longwood's rally in the frame.
The Buccaneers took one back in the bottom half of the frame. Annie Bakenhus led off the game with a single up the middle. She stole second two batters later, advancing to third when the throw sailed into centerfield. Mallory Kasinger's RBI single brought her home to pull the Bucs back within one at 2-1.
CSU tied the contest up at 2-2 in the bottom of the third. Taylor Gleason was hit by a pitch to open the frame and advanced to second on Bakenhus' sacrifice bunt. She advanced to third on Sarah Brown's base hit to left and came around to score on Caitlyn Emberson's sacrifice fly to left.
The Lancers broke the tie ballgame in the top of the fifth. Kasey Carr's bases-loaded fielder's choice scored Batten to give Longwood the 3-2 lead.
Batten's triple to lead off the top of the seventh helped add a late Lancer insurance run. Donovan followed with a sacrifice fly to right field to put the margin at 4-2.
Gay retired three Bucs on strikes in the bottom half of the frame to secure the Big South win.
News & Notes
- Friday's contest marked just the fifth time in 2018 that CSU was held without an extra-base hit as Annie Bakenhus, Sarah Brown, and Mallory Kasinger accounted for the Bucs' three singles in the contest.
- Arizona Pilgrim pitched a CSU season-high 6.2 innings in relief in the contest. The previous high entering the game was her 5.2 innings pitched in relief against Valparaiso on February 17.
- Mallory Kasinger established a new career-high for consecutive games with a hit at six games following her single in the bottom of the first.
- Caitlyn Emberson's on-base streak reached 11 consecutive games as the junior catcher was plunked with her 13th hit-by-pitch of the season in the sixth inning.
Charleston Southern hosts Longwood in a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon at the CSU Softball Field. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. on ESPN3.