USC Beaufort

Pitchers Cook, Layman dominant as Sand Sharks extend softball winning streak to 10 with sweep

From wire reports

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The University of South Carolina Beaufort softball team wrapped up another impressive weekend with a doubleheader sweep at St. Thomas on Sunday, as the 14th-ranked Sand Sharks won the opener 3-1 in eight innings before blowing out the Bobcats 8-0 in five innings in the nightcap.

USCB (33-3, 11-1 TSC) ran its winning streak to a program-record 10 games and moved a step closer to claiming the Sun Conference regular season title in just its second season of competition.

The pitching staff was dominant for the Sand Sharks all weekend, allowing only two runs and nine hits while taking two games apiece from Northwood and St. Thomas.

Sophomore Kristy Cook (15-0) held the Bobcats to one run on two hits in an eight-inning complete game in Sunday's opener, and freshman Ashlie Layman allowed only one hit in a five-inning shutout in the second game.

St. Thomas pitcher Brenda Emerson matched Cook for most of the opener, and the Bobcats (15-13, 4-4) took a 1-0 lead on Kristen Scott's squeeze bunt in the fifth.

USCB's Alexandria Simmons answered a half-inning later with a solo shot to left field to tie it, and Simmons drove in the winning runs in the eighth with a two-run double to left. Simmons accounted four two of USCB's four hits and all three RBIs.

The Sand Sharks' bats didn't stay nearly as quiet in the finale, as they scored three runs in the first with Taylor Triplett and Maddie Byrd delivering RBI singles. That would have been enough for Layman (9-0), but USCB broke it open in the fourth, as Chelsey Blasingame smacked an RBI single and C.J. Browder and Byrd hit back-to-back home runs to give the Sand Sharks an 8-0 cushion.

Browder was 2 for 3 with three RBIs and Byrd was 2 for 3 and drove in two for USCB in the final game. Layman did not allow a hit after Jessica Matias' leadoff single in the first.

The Sand Sharks travel to Georgia Gwinnett for a non-conference doubleheader at 2 p.m. Wednesday.