Two high-octane offenses prove too much for Cougars
ORLANDO, Fla. March 2, 2013 – The College of Charleston softball team dropped a pair of games to two top-15 teams in the second day of the Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars had a late comeback effort thwarted in a 6-4 loss to No. 9 Texas A&M, and were overwhelmed in a 16-0 falling to No. 13 Lousiana-Lafayette.
CofC (7-6) concludes play in the Classic with a pair of Sunday-morning games, a 9.a.m. contest against Georgetown and an 11:15 a.m. bout with Hofstra.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON: 4, TEXAS A&M: 6
After falling behind early, the Cougars surged back to life with a four-run rally in the seventh and put the tying run on base, but the Aggies’ six-run cushion was too large and the Cougars eventually dropped the contest.
By the time the dust settled, the Cougars had outhit the Aggies, 9-8, but were doomed by nine stranded baserunners.
The Aggies started early, drawing a pair of first-inning walks and then cashing in with a two-RBI double into right center from Jenna Stark.
In the third, they put their first two aboard by way of a Cougar fielding error and a Cali Lanphear double which put runners on second and third without any outs. Back-to-back groundouts to shortstop would score both runs, and then Amber Garza hit a solo homerun to make it 5-0.
Valerie Cassell (Edison, N.J.) entered the pitching circle in the third inning, and in the fourth an infield single, throwing error and base on balls loaded the bases without the ball leaving the infield. The Cougars would attempt to get the lead runner on a one-out grounder, but another throwing error allowed the run to score. Cassell would then strike a hitter out and force a groundout to limit the damage, but the score was already 6-0.
The Cougars, after stranding two in the fourth and leaving the bases loaded in the fifth, finally created timely hitting and attempted to come all the way back in the seventh.
After Lizzy Vaughn (Placerville, Calif.) reached on a fielding error to start the inning, Mueller’s two-run blast to right center breathed life back into the Cougar dugout. Carly Corthell (Reno, Nev.) followed with a bunt single, and Ashton Jarrett (Hanahan, S.C.) hit a groundball which the Aggies would attempt to get Corthell out at second on; but Corthell’s speed left them without a play. Kelsey Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) doubled to left center to cut the deficit to 6-4, but back-to-back strikeouts would prove the comeback effort to be too little, too late.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON: 0, LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE: 16
In the night cap, the Cougars had no answer for Ragin’ Cajun pitchers Kristen Martinez and Jordan Wallace who combined to throw a five-inning no hitter.
The Ragin’ Cajuns did all their offensive work in two outbursts, a five-hit, six-run second and then an eight-hit, 10-run fourth.
They enjoyed production throughout their lineup, getting hits out of 10 different players and RBIs out of eight. Shellie Landry and Sarah Draheim were the most prolific and good for three RBIs apiece.
The Cougars only reached three baserunners in the contest, all of which came when they loaded the bases in the third inning but couldn’t get a run to the plate. Vaughn and Mueller drew walks and moved up a base on a Courtney Clark (Tampa, Fla.) sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third with one out. Corthell then reached on a fielder’s choice and both runners retreated to their bases after a rundown, but then three groundouts ended the threat.