CONWAY - No. 7 seed Charleston Southern defeated No. 2 Longwood for the second time in the Big South softball championship, 7-2, to advance to its second championship game appearance in three seasons and third all-time.
The Bucs will face top-seeded Coastal Carolina, a 6-4 winner over Campbell, in the championship game Sunday at noon. The championship game is a rematch of the 2012 championship game.
"We've been close all year long and we've been saying that one day we'll bust through the door and that's exactly what we're doing right now," CSU coach Shane Winkler said. "We don't feel like the No. 7 seed, and it's about who is playing the best."
The Buccaneers (26-31-1) scored four runs in the top of the third inning, highlighted by Jessica Brock's three-run home which stuck 15 feet up in a palm tree just beyond the center field wall. Amanda Matsumoto and Ari Tedesco, who each singled earlier in the inning, scored on the home run.
Cheyenne Gandara (10-11) got the win in relief of Jennifer Giles, throwing 31/3 scoreless innings without allowing a hit and striking out two.
After Longwood cut the lead to 4-2, Hayes Holdsworth added an RBI single to give CSU a 5-2 lead. The Bucs added two runs in the seventh on back-to-back RBI singles by Stephanie Bergmann and Stevi Johnson.
Sbardella went 3 for 4 with two runs scored for CSU. Amanda Matsumoto, Bergmann, Johnson and Tedesco had two hits apiece.
The College of Charleston women's golf team finished 22nd at the SouthWood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Fla., with a 914 total (299-308-307) at the NCAA Division I East Regional.
Laura Fuenfstueck was the Cougars' top finisher at the 54-hole tournament, tied for 69th with a 9-over 225 (75-74-76-225).
The South Carolina women's golf team shot an 8-under 280 in the final round of the NCAA East Regional at Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Fla., to finish second with a score of 10-under 854 and will advance to the NCAA championship for the fifth straight year.
Vanderbilt won the regional title with a score of 24-under 840. N.C. State, Duke, Stanford, Virginia, Tulane and Campbell also placed in the top eight and will advance to the NCAA championship.
USC freshman Katelyn Dambaugh, a former Pinewood Prep standout, finished in a tie for 24th place with a 1-over 217 after shooting a 1-under 71 in the final round.
The 13th-seeded Clemson women's team advanced to the NCAA championship round of 16 for the seventh time in the last eight seasons with a 5-0 win over visiting Auburn (17-11). Clemson (22-6) advances to Athens, Ga., to play Duke on Thursday at 7 p.m.
In Durham, N.C., the No. 30 South Carolina women's team exited the NCAA tournament second round with a 4-0 loss to No. 5 Duke. The Gamecocks end the season with a 17-11 record, while Duke improves to 26-4.
In men's tennis, 21st-ranked Clemson lost, 4-3, to 13th-ranked Kentucky in the NCAA tournament second round in Lexington, Ky. With the loss, Clemson concludes the season at 21-9, the program's first 20-win season since 2007. Kentucky improves to 23-9 and advances to the round of 16 in Athens, Ga.
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