HARDEEVILLE -- The University of South Carolina Beaufort softball team suffered its first defeat in Sun Conference play Friday, as the 16th-ranked Sand Sharks split a doubleheader with Thomas (Ga.) at Richard Gray Sports Complex.
The Sand Sharks won the opener 8-3 behind a strong pitching performance from Kristy Cook and a five-RBI game from Shelby Zipperer, but the Night Hawks got an outstanding effort from pitcher Aimee Johnson to win the second game 7-2 and salvage a split.
USCB (23-3, 3-1 Sun) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first game on Mariaha Sanborn's solo homer in the second and a four-run third that featured Taylor Triplett's RBI double and Zipperer's three-run double down the left-field line.
Cook (11-0) carried a perfect game with two outs into the fifth before Amber Steadham's single to left. Cook finished with a two-hitter.
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Thomas' bats came to life in the second game, as the Night Hawks (14-14, 2-2) rapped 12 hits and took advantage of three USCB errors.
Johnson held USCB to two runs -- one earned -- on four hits in a complete game.
The Sand Sharks travel to Columbia College for a doubleheader at 4 p.m. Tuesday.