NORTH CHARLESTON, SC— Alex White’s two-out RBI single to center in the top of the fifth inning provided the game-winning run in game two of a doubleheader to lead the Eagles to a doubleheader sweep of Charleston Southern, Monday afternoon in Big South Conference softball action.
Winthrop opened up the day with a 9-3 victory and held on for a 4-3 win to sweept the doubleheader.
Winthrop improves to 16-14 overall and 4-2 in the Big South as it swept the three-game series against the Buccaneers. Charleston Southern falls to 5-25 overall and 0-6 in the league. Winthrop returns home for its next contest, a three-game Big South Conference series against Presbyterian College beginning with a doubleheader on Friday, Mar. 29 at 4 p.m.
The Eagles worked their way back after falling behind by two runs with a run in the third and took the lead with two runs in the fourth. McKenzi Corn plated Zarne Glover on a sacrifice fly after Glover was moved over on a sacrifice bunt from Kristy Noble. Then in the fourth, Kathryn Eberlin tied the game at 2-2 as she led off the inning with a solo home run to center. A few batters later, Melanie Andrea picked up a two-out RBI single to center as Kelsey Ritter scored from second.
“These were some great ball games today,” said Winthrop head coach Mark Cooke. “We hit the ball hard and hit it when we had to. Sutton (Watson) threw a great game in the first game and did a great in relief in game two by shutting them down. We had a lot of different players step up today. We’re playing well right now. Last game was a gut check as we got behind but we battled back to get the win. I’m real proud of the players and how they performed today and this weekend.”
The Bucs came right back to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth as Natalie Yonan came through with an RBI double.
Watson entered the game at 3-3 to pitch the final 3.2 innings allowing no runs on just two hits with a walk and seven strikeouts as she picked up her 10th win of the season.
Winthrop trailed 2-0 after the first inning of game two after starting pitcher Sara Allen ran into some trouble. After a lead-off single, Allen struck out Stephanie Sbardella looking but then loaded the bases as a pitch got away from her and hit the batter. Allen got Hayes Holdsworth to hit a grounder to short as Ritter threw home for the force out to keep the slate clean for the second out. Another pitch got away from Allen as it hit Jasmine Conley for an RBI as all the runners advanced one base. The next run came on a passed ball.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Eagles used a 5-run fourth to open up the game as they led 3-2 heading at that point. Andrea and Glover started off the inning by reaching base followed by a single up the middle from Noble to load the bases with no outs. Corn drove home the first run with a sacrifice fly to left field as Glover and Noble both moved over. After Chelsey Schoenfeldt walked to load the bases, two runs scored on a grounder off the bat of Eberlin that turned into an error as Winthrop led 6-2. Schoenfeldt scored on a groundout by White and then Ritter made it 8-2 with an RBI single through the right side.
Winthrop took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning as Glover opened up the scoring by crossing the plate from second on a throwing error by the third baseman. White and Ritter each picked up RBI by walking with the bases loaded.
The Bucs made it a one run game in the bottom half of the third as Linzy Rother delivered a two-run single to left field, but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.
Watson earned her ninth win of the season going the distance allowing three runs on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
Rother took the loss for the Bucs as she allowed eight runs (one earned) on five hits with seven walks and five strikeouts as she falls to 2-7 on the year.
Glover finished with three runs on the day while Eberlin and White each had three RBI.