A four-run first inning was all the College of Charleston needed to complete the sweep against the Hofstra softball team Sunday in South Carolina, defeating the Pride 4-1.
“That first inning absolutely killed us. We had our opportunities,” said Hofstra head coach Larissa Anderson.
After plating just two runners in the first two games of the series, Hofstra quickly jumped on the board with a sacrifice fly from Nikki Michalowski. The junior finished 1-for-1 on the day, extending her hitting streak to eight games.
The one run from the Pride would be all they could scrape across. In the bottom half of the opening frame, the Cougars continued to find ways to score this series.
After a leadoff bunt single, Hofstra starter Sarah Cornell walked two consecutive batters to load the bases. Cornell proceeded to throw a wild pitch to give Charleston their first run of the game.
Charleston scored again two batters later after a throwing error by Megan Patierno, giving the Cougars a 2-1 lead – a lead that they would never lose.
With a runner occupying each base, Cornell recorded her fourth walk of the inning to increase Charleston’s lead to two runs.
Rounding out the frame, Yari Felix knocked a RBI single to give the eventual 4-1 final. Felix ended the game 2-for-3 in the ninth spot of the lineup.
Tagged with the loss, Cornell’s outing was done after the one inning, falling to 16-9 this season.
Offensively, the Pride outhit Charleston 7-5 Sunday, but struggled to hit in key situations.
“With runners in scoring position, we got to look for a better pitch and not try to do too much with it [and] put the pressure on their defense and not have any easy outs,” Anderson said.
Hofstra left eight runners stranded overall, but had opportunities knocking in the fourth inning.
Leftfielder Sam Tomasetti led off the frame with a double in the left centerfield gap and moved over to third following a Sarah Edwards single. To load the bases, Kaitlyne Musa reached on a walk.
However, Hofstra could not string together anything to score its runners – a strikeout and outs on a fielder’s choice ended the fourth.
On the defensive end for Hofstra, Alyssa Irons replaced Cornell for the remainder of the ballgame, tossing five shutout innings with four strikeouts and three hits allowed.
“She was competitive. She did exactly what she was supposed to do,” Anderson said.
For the Cougars, reliever Sam Martin picked up the win, improving to 7-5 after throwing two scoreless frames. Izzy Berouty earned her fourth save, taking the circle in the final two innings for Charleston. Sydney Shipley was given the start, going three innings with the only run allowed.
This was the first time Hofstra was swept in 2017, dropping the season’s record to 23-20 overall and 9-7 in conference play.
The Pride returns to action May 3 against Lehigh on the road before they face Drexel in the final conference series of the season.
“We got to have a good week of practice. [We have to] get back to what makes us successful,” Anderson said.