CHARLESTON, S.C. - Mallory Kasinger, Jade Gandara, and Caitlyn Emberson all homered for Charleston Southern as the Buccaneers split with Big South rival Winthrop on Saturday afternoon at Terry Field. The Bucs fell in extra innings in the opener, 6-5, before rebounding for the 5-2 win in the series finale.
CSU moves to 17-13 (1-2) following the doubleheader, while Winthrop moves to 11-10 (2-1) after the split.
Winthrop 6, Charleston Southern 5 (8 inn.)
Morgan Lowers' walk-off single secured the series win for the Eagles on Saturday afternoon as Winthrop topped the Buccaneers in extra innings at Terry Field.
Madison Koger connected on an RBI double scoring Taylor Gleason in the top of the sixth to even the contest at 5-5 and send the game into extra innings. Following scoreless frames in the seventh and CSU going down in order in the top of the eighth, the Eagles struck for the game-winning run in their final at-bats.
Shayna Covington led off the inning against Arizona Pilgrim (6-6) with an infield single. After stealing second and getting sacrificed over to third, Lowers connected on the walk-off single to left field for the game-winning run.
The Buccaneers opened the scoring in the contest on Destini Ewing's RBI sacrifice fly. Sarah Brown led off the inning reaching on an error and advanced to second on the play. She followed with a stolen base before scoring on Ewing's sacrifice fly to put CSU ahead 1-0.
Mallory Kasinger added three more runs in the top of the third to put CSU ahead 4-0. Annie Bakenhus led off the inning with a single and Caitlyn Emberson drew a walk to put two on with none out in the frame. Two batters later, Kasinger connected on her eighth home run of the season to spot CSU the four-run advantage.
Lowers put the Eagles on the scoreboard in the bottom of the frame. Ashley Westbrooks connected on a two-out double to put a runner in scoring position against CSU starter Holly Clark. Lowers followed with an infield RBI single to pull WU within 4-1.
Winthrop did most of their damage in the bottom of the fourth inning with Jesse Burleson and Westbrooks both connecting on two-run singles in the frame to put the Eagles in the lead. Burleson's base hit scored Sabrina Shroades and Keleigh Romine, while Westbrooks' single scored Jill Derrick and Madyson Watson to put WU ahead 5-4.
Koger's double tied the game up in the sixth. Gleason drew a one-out walk after battling through a 10-pitch at-bat. Two batters later, Koger doubled to left centerfield with the speedy Gleason crossing the plate to tie the game up.
Pilgrim suffered the loss in relief after going the final 3.1 innings and allowing four hits and three strikeouts. Watson (3-3) recorded the Winthrop win in the circle after allowing just a walk and three strikeouts in the victory.
Charleston Southern 5, Winthrop 2
Caitlyn Emberson and Jade Gandara connected on a pair of two-run home runs to help support Holly Clark's complete-game effort as the Buccaneers topped Winthrop in the series finale, 5-2.
Clark (6-5) went the distance in the contest allowing eight hits while striking out four in the win. Kiley Majette (6-5) suffered the loss allowing 11 hits and five runs (four earned) while striking out six in the complete game loss.
Winthrop opened the scoring in the bottom of the first as Ansley Gilreath connected on an infield RBI single bringing home Westbrooks.
The Bucs responded to tie the game up in the top of the second. Koger again came through with the clutch hit as the freshman shortstop singled in Christi Takac to even the game at 1-1.
Madyson Watson put Winthrop back in the lead with a leadoff solo home run against CSU starter Holly Clark.
Caitlyn Emberson provided the big bang for the Bucs in the top of the fifth inning. Annie Bakenhus sparked the rally with a one-out single up the middle. Emberson followed two pitches later with a two-run home run over the left field fence to put CSU ahead 3-2 late in the contest.
Jade Gandara added late insurance as the junior slugger connected on her team-leading 11th home run of the season in the top of the seventh. Emberson led off the inning getting hit by a pitch. With Nicole Ayala in to run, Gandara fouled off a pitch before connecting on a two-run home run to straightaway centerfield to put CSU ahead 5-2.
Clark recorded a perfect seventh inning to close out the contest and the weekend series with the win.
Gandara went 3-for-4 from the plate with two RBI to lead CSU's offensive efforts in the game.
News & Notes
- Charleston Southern's win in Saturday's doubleheader finale snapped a five-game losing streak. It was CSU's second five-game losing streak of the season.
- Mallory Kasinger homered in back-to-back games for the second time this season as the CSU sophomore connected on the two-run shot in the first game.
- Kasinger equaled her 2017 season total with her eighth home run of the season against the Eagles. She has 16 for her career over her first 88 career games played.
- Caitlyn Emberson (3rd) and Jade Gandara (11th) also connected on home runs in the game.
- CSU recorded 10 stolen bases over the three-game series against the Eagles. The Bucs took three steals in both the first and third games over the weekend, while Meghan Gagliano, Kendall Anderson, Sarah Brown, and Taylor Gleason all recorded stolen bases in the second game.
Charleston Southern closes out its road trip this week as the Buccaneers travel to Coastal Carolina on Wednesday, March 21. First pitch at the Coastal Carolina Softball Stadium is set for 4 p.m. in Conway, S.C.