Boiling Springs, N.C. - The Gardner-Webb softball team gave up four runs in the top of the first and failed to find their offense, as the Runnin' Bulldogs fell to Charleston Southern 8-1 on Sunday afternoon at Varsity Field in Boiling Springs, N.C.
While GWU took the three-game conference series 2-1, the loss on Sunday drops Gardner-Webb to 22-24 overall and 8-8 in conference play, while the win pushes the Charleston Southern Buccaneers to 28-21 overall and 11-7 in Big South action.
The Bucs jumped out to a huge lead in the top of the first, as Linzy Rother blasted grand slam to put the visitors in front 4-0.
Over their first four at bats, Gardner-Webb put a runner on base in each inning, yet left the runner stranded and found themselves down 4-0 through four innings of play.
In the top of the fifth, the Buccaneers blew the game open, as Charleston Southern pushed across four more runs, highlighted by a three-run home run by Rother, putting the score at 8-0 in favor of CSU.
Looking to stay in the game, the Runnin' Bulldogs scored a run in the bottom half of the inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of redshirt-junior Melinda Dulkowski, as GWU cut the lead to seven at 8-1.
However, the Runnin' Bulldogs would fail to score anymore runs over the final two innings of play, as Charleston Southern held on for the 8-1 win.
GWU's Jessica Childers (6-12), who started the game, was handed the loss, as she gave up three runs on two hits and a walk in only a third of an inning of work. Fellow sophomore hurler Alyssa Gutierrez pitched 6.2 innings, giving up five runs, three of which were earned, on six hits and four walks, while striking out four.
Charleston Southern's Morgan Dowdy (16-11) earned the win, as she went the distance allowing one run on six hits and two walks, while striking out five GWU batters.
For CSU, Rother was 2-for-2 with two home runs, two walks, seven RBI and two runs scored.
Gardner-Webb will return to action next Wednesday afternoon, April 25th, as the Runnin' Bulldogs will host Presbyterian College in a Big South doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. at Varsity Field in Boiling Springs, N.C.