No. 2 Gamecocks claim NCAA East Regional title

Top-seeded South Carolina fired a final-round 296 (+8) to clinch its third NCAA East Regional title since 2010 on Saturday at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course.

The Gamecocks finished the tournament with a 54-hole score of 877 (+13) and captured the win by eight strokes to advance to their sixth straight NCAA Championship. Senior Justine Dreher earned her sixth top-five result of the season, finishing the weekend at even-par.

The Gamecocks entered the day with an eight-stroke lead after posting the only under-par team score of the tournament (-2, 286) on Friday. Alabama and LSU each made runs at the Gamecocks, particularly on the front nine when Alabama drew within five on a few occasions, but South Carolina fought its way though a difficult back nine to stay on top.

Dreher continued her career of strong postseason play, registering her second-straight top-five finish and her sixth of the season. Her 54-hole score of 216 (E) tied her for fifth with two others. After making the turn at 1-over, the senior played bogey-free on the back nine and holed a birdie on No. 15 to finish the day with a 72 (E)

Sophomore and former Pinewood prep standout Katelyn Dambaugh turned in her best round of the weekend with a 2-under 70 on Saturday. She did not post a bogey on the front nine and made the turn at 3-under. She went 1-over on her final nine holes and posted her best career regional result in a tie for 12th at 5-over (221).

Also advancing to the NCAA Championships in Bradenton, Fla., are Northwestern (+21), host NC State (+23), Alabama (+24), LSU (+24) and Campbell (+28).

Sophomore Taylor Totland (E) tied for fifth and qualified for the NCAA Championships to lead 28th-ranked Furman.

Totland, who is ranked 19th nationally, teed off of No. 10 and birdied three of her last four holes on the back then stretched her score to 4-under with a birdie on No. 3. Despite a tough final three holes, she finished the round even to conclude the tournament eight strokes back of second-ranked Madelene Sagstrom (-8) of LSU, who fired a 68 in the opening round and added a 70 in each of the final two rounds to earn individual medalist honors.

Totland qualified for the NCAA Championship by placing second among individuals who did not qualify for the championship as a part of a team.

In its second consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, the College of Charleston finished 14th with a final-round score of 301 (+13).

It marked the Cougars’ lowest round of the three-day postseason tournament, which featured 13 of the Top 50-ranked teams in the country, as well as the program’s best finish in six all-time NCAA Regional appearances. CofC previously placed 15th in 2006 and improved on a 22nd finish in 2014.

Sophomore Laura Fuenfstueck and junior Louise Olsson both fired 2-over par final rounds. Fuenfstueck tied for 30th individually (+9) in the 96-player field, while Olsson tied for 35th (+10) with a five-birdie round on Friday.

No. 6 Presbyterian topped No. 5 Charleston Southern in Saturday’s first Big South Softball Championships semifinal game as the Buccaneers fell to the Blue Hose, 5-1, at Amanda Littlejohn Stadium in Buies Creek, N.C.

The Buccaneers’ season comes to a close with a 31-28 overall record, the fifth season in program history that CSU reached the 30-win mark. Presbyterian advances to face the winner of No. 1 Longwood/No. 2 Coastal Carolina in Sunday’s Big South Championship game.

Jennifer Giles (15-17) went the distance for the fourth time in the tournament for the Buccaneers, going seven innings in allowing nine hits and five runs, while striking out seven in her final performance with the Buccaneers. Giles, a senior from Jupiter, Fla., leaves the program as the Bucs’ all-time strikeouts and appearances leader and finished the weekend with a 2.92 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 26.1 innings.

Fellow senior Marci Christian singled in her final collegiate at-bat to keep the CSU rally alive in the bottom of the seventh against the Blue Hose. The Bucs’ all-time home runs leader, Christian finished her final collegiate tournament with a .300 batting average with a team-high four RBIs and three runs scored on the weekend.

Charleston Southern fell to the No. 7-ranked Georgia Bulldogs, 4-0, in the first round of the NCAA Regional at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.

The Buccaneers’ season comes to an end with an 18-3 overall record. The most successful season in the history of the program, CSU established new marks in season wins, its first Big South Tournament victory and the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history.

CSU faced a tough draw against the host Bulldogs as all six Georgia singles players were ranked among the top 105 players in the country, while all three doubles teams were ranked in the top 85.

Citadel basketball player Jake Wright will transfer to Miami (Ohio), he announced on Twitter on Saturday.

Wright, a 6-4 freshman guard from Hopkins, Minn., averaged 8.9 points and shot 42.1 percent from 3-point range last season for the Bulldogs. He will have to sit out the 2015-16 season before becoming eligible to play for Miami.

The Citadel granted Wright his release to transfer earlier this year.

Thirteen members of the Palmetto Masters Swim Team from Charleston competed April 23-26 in the U.S. Masters National Championships, finishing 12th overall.

Palmetto’s Dana Brown (65-69 age group) won two championships in the 100-yard breaststroke and 100 butterfly. Also winning titles were Chris McCool (50-54, 50 freestyle) and Eron Moro (35-39, 200 butterfly).

Recording second-place finishes were Moro (400 IM), Ebby De Herder (55-59, 100 breast), Brown (50 breast, 200 breast and 200 fly).

Finishing third were Moro (100 IM) and Brown (50 fly).

The Palmetto Masters also broke 36 South Carolina state records at the meet.