Charleston Softball falls short in CAA Tournament, concludes 40-win campaign

Both Liz Vaughn (L) and Carly Corthell (R) were instrumental in the Cougars' 2014 success. Photo courtesy of CofCSports.com.

Both Liz Vaughn (L) and Carly Corthell (R) were instrumental in the Cougars’ 2014 success.
Photo courtesy of CofCSports.com.

The second-seeded College of Charleston softball team ended a record-breaking season with a loss to Towson in the CAA Tournament on Thursday afternoon in Harrisonburg, Va.

After losing to third-seeded Hofstra on Wednesday afternoon, the Cougars were faced with a must-win situation against fourth-seeded Towson in order to keep their championship hopes alive. Charleston rallied to within two runs, but ultimately fell to the Tigers, 8-6.

After tying the game at three, Charleston allowed five runs in the fifth inning, including a grand slam by Towson’s starting pitcher Missy McCormick. The Cougars put the tying run on base in the seventh inning, before Chandler Frisbie flew out to deep left field.

Shortstop Liz Vaughn launched a two-run homer in the third, while catcher Mackenzie Maples hit two-run double in the seventh to give the Cougars hope.

“It’s hard to give up eight runs and win, but our kids battled to the very last pitch and I’m extremely proud of them,” head coach Linda Kalafatis said. “I told them it’s been an honor to coach this team this year. I’ve never seen one team make that much of a transformation from the beginning of the season to the end.”

Charleston may have not been in a do-or-die situation on Thursday if it was not for an uncharacteristically sloppy fielding performance in Wednesday’s loss to Hofstra. The Cougars, who ranked as the best fielding team in the CAA, committed four errors in the defeat.

Although the Cougars had a disappointing performance in the CAA Tournament, it was a memorable season for the girls. For the fourth time in school history and first time since 2005, Charleston won 40 games on the season.

The departing senior class cemented their names in the record books as well. The class of 2014 won 151 games throughout their four years, recording 37 or more wins in each of those seasons. They were instrumental in the Cougars’ back-to-back trips to the Southern Conference title game in 2012 and 2013.

All-CAA first team selection, third baseman Kelsey Hodgson, tied the school record for most career home runs (42).

Vaughn set a new school record for most career assists (483), while being named the 2014 CAA Defensive Player of the Year and a first team All-CAA selection. She also led the CAA in hits this season, while sporting a .372 batting average.

Corthell set the record for most career stolen bases (73) and was an All-CAA second team selection.

While Hodgson, Vaughn and Corthell will graduate Saturday, the future is bright for the Cougars, with several key players returning in 2015.

Freshmen Samantha Martin and Katie Padilla were both named to the All-CAA rookie team, while junior pitcher Hope Klicker and sophomore infielder Carly Hansis were All-CAA first team selections. Mueller, a sophomore outfielder, was also named to the All-CAA second team.

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