After a pair of tough non-conference losses on the road, the University of South Carolina Beaufort softball team was looking for some way to get its swagger back when taking on Ave Maria in its final home Sun Conference series of the season.
The Sand Sharks' pitchers made sure it happened Friday. Freshman Kristy Cook threw a no-hitter in the opener, and sophomore Caroline Pastre tossed a four-hit shutout in the second game, as USCB won both games by 2-0 scores at Richard Gray Sports Complex in Hardeeville.
Cook was dominant in the first game, striking out six in her fourth no-hitter of the season. The only thing that kept her from her second perfect game of the season was a one-out walk in the second inning.
"It doesn't get old," Cook said. "I love throwing no-hitters."
The Sand Sharks (30-8, 9-4) did their scoring early in both games. They scored one in each of the first two innings in the opener, scoring on RBI singles from Mariaha Sanborn and Sammi Shaffren.
USCB staked Pastre to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the second game, taking advantage of two Ave Maria errors.
Sand Sharks maintain pace in crowded baseball race
The USC Beaufort baseball team rallied from a three-run deficit to beat Webber International, 5-4, on Friday in Hardeeville, keeping pace in the crowded race for the Sun Conference title.
Conald Mansfield's two-run single in the sixth put the Sand Sharks (32-14, 18-7 Sun Conference) ahead for good.
USCB starter Michael Heesch (8-1) allowed 11 hits but minimized the damage to four runs -- three earned -- while striking out four. Andrew Barrineau earned his first save.
The series concludes with a doubleheader at noon today.
Women's golf team fourth
The USC Beaufort women's golf team is in fourth place after the first round of the Sun Conference Championship, as the Sand Sharks posted a team score of 320 on the Legends Course at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla.
SCAD Savannah leads the seven-team field at 309, followed by Northwood at 312 and Embry-Riddle at 316.
Kendra Collins led the Sand Sharks in the first round with a 5-over-par 77, good for a tie for third. Kelli Nakano is tied for 10th with an 80, Adriana Saavedra shot 81 and is tied for 15th, Phyllis Langley is in 17th with an 82, and Tori DeGroodt is tied for 18th at 83.
Bluffton High School graduate Heather Wiquist led Embry-Riddle with a first-round 76. She trails individual leader Alazne Urizar of SCAD by four shots heading into today's final round.