USC Beaufort

USC Beaufort softball team sweeps doubleheader at Columbia College

COLUMBIA -- The University of South Carolina Beaufort softball team went on the road and pulled off two comeback victories Wednesday, as the 17th-ranked Sand Sharks swept Columbia College 5-2 and 11-4 in a non-conference doubleheader.

The sweep avenged USCB's first loss of the season, as the Sand Sharks (25-3) split a doubleheader against the Fighting Koalas on March 4 in Hardeeville.

Sophomore third baseman Mariaha Sanborn was the star of the evening for USCB, smashing three home runs in the doubleheader. Sanborn and sophomore center fielder Shelby Zipperer hit back-to-back blasts in the fifth inning of the opener.

USCB fell behind 2-0 early in the first game, as the Koalas connected for a pair of solo home runs in the first inning against ace Kristy Cook. The Sand Sharks scored two runs in the top of the second, though, and Cook shut down Columbia College the rest of the way to improve to 12-0.

Zipperer's two-run bomb to left gave the Sand Sharks the lead for good, and Sanborn followed with a blast to center for a 5-2 advantage, which is where it stayed.

Sanborn provided the only offense early in the second game, hitting a two-run shot in the second inning and a solo blast in the fourth. She was intentionally walked her next two times up.

The Koalas scratched back with two in the fourth and two in the fifth for a 4-3 lead, but Taylor Triplett's two-run single put USCB back in front and sparked a four-run sixth inning. Alexandria Simmons and Maddie Byrd added RBIs in the big inning.

The Sand Sharks tacked on four more in the seventh to blow it open with Byrd collecting two RBIs and Simmons and Sanborn each driving in a run.

Freshman Ashlie Layman went the distance in the second game to improve to 5-0.

The Sand Sharks are back home for a key conference weekend. They host Webber International for a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday and Embry-Riddle for a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both days will feature special events, as Saturday has been designated Strikeout Cancer Day and Sunday will be Youth Day.