SB Preview: Bucs host Winthrop for last home series of the season

SB Preview: Bucs host Winthrop for last home series of the season

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern will host Winthrop on Friday and Saturday for their last home series of the 2017 season.  The Buccaneers will take on the Eagles at 4:00 p.m. on Friday and then wrap up the series on Saturday's Senior Day with a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.  Fans can follow the action on the Big South Network or via live stats on csusports.com and in-game updates on Twitter: @CSUGameday.

*Senior Day: Fans are encouraged to arrive early as CSU recognizes its seven seniors - Amanda Matsumoto, Stephanie Bergmann, Stevi Johnson, Ashtin Kullnat, Brittany McPherson, Georgi DeLio and Lexie Vanada.

CSU Game Notes - Charleston Southern vs. Winthrop

Scouting Winthrop
Winthrop enters Friday's matchup with a 20-23 record on the season and a 6-6 mark in conference play.  The Eagles are coming off a six game losing streak, falling to Campbell three times in last weekend's home series, twice to Furman on Tuesday and once to Gardner-Webb on Wednesday. 

Conference Play - #6 Charleston Southern vs. #3 Winthrop
The Eagles are 6-6 in conference play, falling to both Gardner-Webb and Campbell three times this season.  Last month, Winthrop swept Presbyterian College and Longwood to combine for six conference wins.

During the Shane Winkler era, Charleston Southern has recorded a 17-11 mark against Winthrop.  In their last meeting with the Eagles on April 16 of last year, Winthrop topped the Buccaneers, 5-2, at Terry Softball Complex.  CSU has won its last three series with the Eagles.

Setting the tone
Redshirt junior Maddie Antone leads the Eagles at the plate with a .425 batting average for a number three ranking in the Big South.  The Vandergrift, Pennsylvania native is also ranked third in the conference with an on base percentage of .482 and comes in at the six spot with a .619 slugging percentage.  Antone paces Winthrop with 14 multi-hit games and has connected for at least two hits in nine of the Eagles last 14 games.

Leaping Leah
Redshirt senior Leah Young leads the Eagles with a perfect 11 stolen bases in 11 attempts and is ranked seventh in the Big South.  The fleet-footed senior has proven she's got the bat to match her speed, boasting a team high seven home runs on the season to tie for the sixth best in the league.  Young scored two runs in three straight games this season and recorded her 10th career triple, becoming just the sixth player in looking (#6 BSC).  Huffman has proven she's tough to hit, with a team-best .255 opposing batting average that is sixth-best in the league.

Kiley for the K
Sophomore Kiley Majette (11-12) leads Winthrop in the circle and is ranked third in the Big South with 95 strikeouts on the season.  The Holly Springs, North Carolina native has recorded a 3.66 earned run average in her 31 appearances and has earned 18 starts this year.  Majette pitched for a career-high 12 strikeouts to earn a win over Western Carolina on March 23 in game one of the doubleheader and recorded her first career save on February 19 in Winthrop's win over Lipscomb.

Last Time Against Winthrop
Winthrop 5, Charleston Southern 2 (April 16, 2016)
Charleston Southern was unable to overcome an early deficit as the Buccaneers fell in the series finale against the Eagles, 5-2.

Caitlyn Emberson and Brittany McPherson both homered for the Bucs in the loss with the duo connecting on solo shots in both the fourth and fifth innings, but it was not enough for CSU to rally against WU's Kiley Majette (7-13) in the loss.

Arizona Pilgrim went the distance in the game with the freshman right-hander allowing seven hits and four earned runs while striking out six. Her counterpart, Majette, hurled a complete game, allowing five hits in the win.

Emberson added a double to her totals, going 2-for-3 from the plate in the contest.

The Eagles took the 3-0 lead after the first as Zharne Glover singled in Morgan Lowers, while Blake Wallert connected on a two-run double in the frame scoring Leah Young and Glover.

Winthrop added two more in the third as Shayna Covington scored on a CSU error, while Young came across on a Wallert groundout to stake the Eagles to the 5-0 lead.

Emberson put the Bucs on the board with a solo home run to right centerfield in the fourth, while McPherson chipped away at the lead with a solo home run in the top of the fifth narrowing the Eagles' lead to 5-2.

Majette shut down the Bucs the rest of the way allowing singles to Amanda Matsumoto and Stevi Johnson on her way to the complete game win.

Recapping CSU's Last Game
College of Charleston 6, Charleston Southern 1 (April 12, 2017)
Charleston Southern was unable to overcome the strong bats of College of Charleston and fell to the Cougars, 6-1, on Wednesday afternoon at CSU Softball Field. 

Jade Gadara led the Buccaneers (20-28) at the plate with an RBI double, while Stevi Johnson went a perfect two-for-two in her at-bats. Stephanie Bergmann and Caitlyn Emberson also recorded a hit in the CSU defeat and Holly Clark (6-7) paced the Bucs in the circle with four strikeouts in the complete game effort.

College of Charleston (21-17) got on the board in the third inning. A CSU fielding error with two outs allowed Taylor Dupree to get on base, and a single from Jordin Jones brought in the run.

The Bucs responded in the bottom of the frame with a leadoff single from Bergmann.  Amanda Matsumoto reached on a fielder's choice and scored after Jade Gandara connected on a double to left center to tie the score at 1-1 after three innings.

The Cougars pulled ahead with a solo home run off the bat of Lexee Emanuel in the next inning, and Izzy Berouty (4-4) set the Bucs down in order in both the fourth and fifth frames.  CofC added another run in the top of the sixth as Emanuel and Katie Padilla connected on back-to-back doubles for the 3-1 lead.

CSU threatened a comeback in the bottom of the sixth as Johnson led off with a single and Cheyenne Gandara reached on a walk.  Berouty retired the Bucs' number five and number six hitters to end the inning with the tying run left on first.

CofC sparked a two-out rally in the last frame with a hit up the middle from Kelly Sinclair, followed by a Jones double for the RBI.  Taylor Belfiore cleared the bases with a home run to left center for the 6-1 Cougar advantage after six and a half innings.

A walk put one runner on base for the Bucs in the bottom of the frame, but a popped up foul ball was caught and converted into a double play to seal the 6-1 CofC victory.

Big South Player of the Week - Caitlyn Emberson (April 10, 2017)...
Charleston Southern sophomore Caitlyn Emberson (Taft, Calif.) was selected as the Big South Conference Softball Player of the Week for games played April 3-9 as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon. 

Emberson recorded a pair of home runs in two of CSU's games last week and connected for eight hits, eight RBI, two doubles, five runs scored and 22 total bases.  The sophomore slugger posted back-to-back homers in CSU's 8-3 win over Alabama State to open the week.  Emberson stayed hot over the weekend, connecting on home runs in back-to-back at-bats for five RBI in CSU's 10-2 win over Radford on Saturday.  The Taft, California native batted for .667 on the week and finished the four games with a 1.833 slugging percentage and .733 on base percentage.

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