CHARLESTON, S.C. - Arizona Pilgrim retired Taylor DuPree swinging with the game-tying runner on third as Charleston Southern topped visiting College of Charleston on Tuesday afternoon at the CSU Softball Field, 5-4.
CofC (22-15) fought its way back into the game with a late-inning rally as the Cougars cut a 5-1 CSU (22-17) lead down to one run in the sixth. The Cougars put their first two batters on in the top of the seventh against CSU reliever Arizona Pilgrim.
After a sacrifice bunt advanced both runners into scoring position, Sarah Brown made a great play on Brittany Vicary's grounder to third ranging to her left before spinning and making the throw to the plate in time to nab Alondra Vicary. Pilgrim (S, 1) and DuPree fought to a 1-2 count before the CSU ace caught her swinging on a change-up to end the contest in favor of the Bucs.
Alyssa Heinrich (7-1) earned her seventh win of the season after going the first 4.2 innings and allowing 10 hits and three runs (one earned), while striking out two. Nicole Ayala and Holly Clark combined to go 1.2 innings in relief before turning the ball over to Pilgrim in the seventh.
Kylie Burke (2-2) suffered the loss in the circle for the Cougars after going three innings and allowing five hits and four runs (three earned). Summer Jenkins closed out the contest allowing the final CSU run in the fourth inning.
Mallory Kasinger sparked CSU's offense early with a two-run home run in the top of the first inning, while Jade Gandara added a pair of runs scored to pace the Bucs at the plate. Nina Del Rio added a perfect 2-for-2 appearance at the plate with a pair of singles to left in her lone at-bats.
The Bucs went ahead early in the top of the first as Kasinger followed Gandara's one-out walk with her 10th home run of the season. The sophomore first baseman's two-run shot to the right of the camera stand in centerfield highlighted a CSU offensive effort that put five runners on base in the frame and loaded the bases against Burke.
CSU added another run in the bottom of the second inning thanks to heads-up base-running by Annie Bakenhus and Kasinger. Bakenhus led off the frame reaching on a fielding error and advanced around the bases on a passed ball and a Gandara groundout. With two outs in the frame, Kasinger advanced to second on a stolen base attempt but froze midway up the base path to allow Bakenhus the opportunity to score. The CofC relay to the plate was late as the junior centerfielder slid home to put CSU ahead 3-0.
Kelly Sinclair put the Cougars on the board with a two-out RBI single in the top of the third. Her base hit brought home Yari Felix to cut into the CSU lead.
Sarah Brown and Summer Moore added the final two CSU runs in the bottom of the fourth. Brown's bases-loaded single up the middle scored Emberson for the first run, while Moore's sacrifice fly plated Gandara to put CSU ahead 5-1 after four innings.
CofC rallied back in the fifth with Sinclair starting the stretch with an RBI single scoring Felix for the second time in the game. Alondra Vicary added a run-scoring single plating Sinclair to narrow the CSU lead to 5-3.
Felix brought home DuPree in the top of the sixth inning with a one-out single up the middle for CofC's final run.
Play of the Game
News & Notes
- Charleston Southern snapped a 13-game losing streak to College of Charleston with the Tuesday victory over the Cougars. CSU's last win against the Cougars came in the 2013 season with a 6-4 win at home on March 26, 2013.
- Mallory Kasinger became the second Buccaneer to reach double-digit home runs in 2018 following her two-run shot in the first inning. She joins Jade Gandara (11) as the only pair of teammates in the Big South to have double-digit home runs.
- Caitlyn Emberson's on-base streak reached 18 consecutive games after getting hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the fourth.
- Alyssa Heinrich tied Arizona Pilgrim for the team lead in wins on the year with seven, while Pilgrim became the fourth CSU pitcher to record a save in 2018.
Due to weather concerns, Charleston Southern and Savannah State have moved their scheduled Wednesday contest to Thursday afternoon as the teams will play a doubleheader at the Lady Tiger Softball Field. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.