CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern swept Winthrop on Saturday's Senior Day as the Bucs' big bats led them to a 4-0 win in game one and a 6-4 victory for the series finale at CSU Softball Field.
The Buccaneers' (22-29, 7-8) seniors went out with a bang, combining for four of CSU's six home runs on the day. Senior Stevi Johnson recorded a solo shot in both wins, while seniors Georgi DeLio and Stephanie Bergmann each recorded a home run in game two. Senior leadoff hitter Amanda Matsumoto led CSU at the plate with four hits for a team-high .667 batting average on the day.
Cheyenne Gandara (8-11) led the Bucs in the circle with nine strikeouts and zero earned runs through a combined nine innings pitched. The redshirt junior earned her first save of the season in game two, with two strikeouts while holding Winthrop (21-25, 7-8) scoreless through the final two frames.
The Buccaneers now turn their attention to next week as they travel to Columbia to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in a Tuesday night doubleheader. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m. on the SEC Network.
Game One: Charleston Southern 4, Winthrop 0
Senior Stevi Johnson and sophomore Jade Gandara paced Charleston Southern at the plate with a home run and a pair of RBI apiece to help lead the Buccaneers to a 4-0 game one victory over Winthrop on Saturday afternoon's Senior Day at CSU Softball Field.
Cheyenne Gandara (8-11) led the Bucs in the circle striking out seven in the complete game effort.
CSU got on the board early as Johnson connected for a solo home run to left center for the 1-0 lead after one frame. Winthrop threatened to score in the second inning after loading the bases with two outs. The Bucs' defense came up big as senior first baseman Brittany McPherson hustled to snag a popup in foul territory, leaving three Eagles stranded on base.
With two outs in the third frame, Johnson reached base on a walk. Jade Gandara followed with a deep rip over the center field fence for the Big South home run leader's 14th of the season and the 3-0 CSU lead.
Senior Amanda Matsumoto rallied on two outs in the fifth frame and connected for a hit to left field and advanced to second on a muffed pick off attempt. Johnson moved the run across with a single through the right side for her second RBI of the game and CSU's fourth run.
Cheyenne Gandara opened the sixth frame with back-to-back strikeouts and set the side down in order through the final two innings to seal the 4-0 Buccaneer win.
Game Two: Charleston Southern 6, Winthrop 4
Seniors Stevi Johnson, Stephanie Bergmann and Georgi DeLio combined for a trio of home runs to help push Charleston Southern to a 6-4 series finale victory over Winthrop on Saturday in the seniors' last collegiate game at CSU Softball Field. Jade Gandara also contributed a homer for her second on the day and 15th of the season.
Arizona Pilgrim opened the game for the Buccaneers and recorded two strikeouts through three innings. Holly Clark (7-8) went to the circle in the fourth frame and also added a pair of strikeouts and just one hit for the freshman's seventh win. Cheyenne Gandara wrapped up the conference victory with two strikeouts through the final two frames, marking the redshirt junior's first save of the season.
Kiley Majette (12-13) paced Winthrop on the rubber with nine strikeouts and six hits in the Eagles' road loss.
Paige Haley got Winthrop on the board in the first inning after reaching base with a single to left field. A pair of groundouts moved her to third and a wild pitch allowed her to score to give the Eagles the 1-0 advantage after half an inning.
Senior Amanda Matsumoto got things going for the Bucs in the bottom of the frame, leading off with a bunt for the base hit. Jade Gandara connected for another long ball, sending her second out with a deep rip over center field for the 2-1 CSU lead. A walk allowed Caitlyn Emberson to get on and Bergmann followed by clearing the bases with a home run to right field to put the Bucs up 4-1 after one inning.
Pilgrim set the side down in order in the second frame, but Winthrop sparked a rally in the third with a leadoff single from Haley. Maddie Antone and Ashley Westbrooks posted back-to-back doubles and Tara Loken brought in the Eagles' third run with a hit to left field to tie the game up at 4-4.
Majette struck out two CSU batters and side the side down in order in the bottom of the third inning. With two away in the fourth frame, DeLio got a hold of one and ripped a solo shot over left center for the go-ahead run and her fourth home run of the season.
CSU's seniors stayed hot in the next inning with Johnson connecting on another solo home run, marking her second on the day and fifth this season.
Trailing the Bucs 6-4 through five innings, Majette set the CSU side down in order with a trio of strikeouts in the sixth frame. Cheyenne Gandara answered back for the Bucs in the circle, holding the Eagles to three hits and pitching for two strikouts through the final two innings. Winthrop threatened to score during their final at bat with two outs, runners on second and third and the go-ahead run at the plate. Gandara thwarted the comeback effort and retired the Eagles' last batter swinging to seal the 6-4 victory and series win for the Bucs on Senior Day.