James, Bucs off to strong start

— Junior Austin James eagled three holes in his afternoon round to lift Charleston Southern into a tie for fifth after 36 holes at the Wofford Coca-Cola Invitational, played Monday at Spartanburg Country Club.

The Buccaneers opened the day with a 5-under par 283 in the morning round, but slipped to 1-over 289 in the afternoon.

CSU is tied with defending champ Army (-4). Gardner-Webb (-12) holds the team lead by two strokes over USC Upstate (-10), which is tied with host Wofford (-10).

James, who is tied for second, eagled two par-5s and capitalized with a 2 on the short par-4 11th hole to shoot a 3-under 69 in his afternoon round. He also shot 69 in the morning and is 6 under for the tournament, five back of Gardner-Webb’s Vincent Blanchette.

Charleston Southern shot a team 302 (+14) and is third following the opening round of the Big South Women’s Golf Championship, played at the DeBordieu Club in Georgetown.

Junior Bella Johnson and sophomore Emelie Flink both had three birdies en route to matching 3-over 75s and are tied for seventh. The Buccaneers surged late behind a pair of birdies from sophomore Hayley McNeill to move within striking distance of the leaders.

Coastal Carolina (+6) holds the lead over Campbell (+8).

The Citadel wrapped up play at the Southern Conference Women’s Championships at Savannah Quarters in Pooler, Ga., placing ninth overall with a 1,072 over three rounds.

The Bulldogs ended with their best 18 holes of the tournament as a team in round 3, firing a 345 in the final round.

College of Charleston freshman Dupree Hart was named Colonial Athletic Association rookie of the week.

Hart, a Rock Hill native, batted .412 (7 for 17) with two doubles, three runs scored and five RBIs over four games last week.

College of Charleston’s Kelly Sinclair was named Colonial Athletic Association rookie of the week.

Sinclair led all Cougars with seven hits over the past week, including two doubles against No. 7 James Madison over the weekend.

She drove in two runs over the past five games and also posted a perfect fielding percentage at shortstop over the five games she played last week.