CHARLESTON, S.C. - Taylor Gleason homered twice and Charleston Southern utilized a strong pitching performance from Arizona Pilgrim in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader as the Buccaneers split with Longwood to close out the series. Longwood took the opener, 8-3, while the Bucs rallied back to take the finale, 4-2.
Gleason connected on two-run home runs in each game on Saturday marking the second time the CSU (18-16, 2-4) freshman had homered twice in a day to help the Bucs salvage the split. Kasey Carr was a perfect 5-for-5 from the plate for the Lancers (17-9, 5-1) to go with two RBI and a pair of runs scored as Longwood won its second Big South series in as many weekends.
Arizona Pilgrim went 7.0 innings in the circle over the two games and picked up the win in the second game against the Lancers. She compiled five strikeouts and allowed seven hits in the doubleheader.
Game One: Longwood 8, Charleston Southern 3
Jordan Clark and Destiny Martinez both homered for Longwood as the Lancers exploded for six runs over the middle three innings to take Saturday's opener against the Buccaneers on ESPN3.
Clark's solo home run in the top of the fourth tied the game up at 3-3 to spark the six-run stretch that put the Lancers firmly in control of the game. Longwood added an RBI double by Krista Kelly and RBIs from Kasey Carr and Jessica Smith in the sixth inning to take the series-clinching victory.
Gleason's two-run home run in the bottom of the second highlighted CSU's offensive efforts in the game as the Bucs connected on five hits against the Longwood pitching staff.
Sydney Gay (11-5) recorded the win in the circle for the Lancers after going 2.2 innings in relief, striking out four while allowing one hit. Emily Visnic (0-2) suffered the loss in relief after allowing three hits and two runs while walking four.
Martinez opened the scoring in the contest with a one-out solo home run in the top of the first inning to give the Lancers the early lead. Carr added an RBI single later in the frame scoring Karleigh Donovan to put Longwood ahead 2-0.
CSU responded with three in the bottom of the second inning. Summer Moore put the first Buccaneer run across the plate with a pinch-hit RBI single up the middle scoring Christi Takac. Two batters later, Gleason drilled a two-run shot down the left field line to stake CSU to the 3-2 lead.
Clark answered for the Lancers in the top of the fourth as her one-out solo shot sailed down the left field line to even the score at 3-3.
Jessica Smith put Longwood in the lead in the fifth inning with an RBI single up the middle scoring Krista Kelly.
The Lancers added four more in the top of the sixth to double their run total in the contest. Kelly opened the scoring with an RBI double driving in Kaylynn Batten. Carr added a run-scoring single, while Kelly scored on a throwing error to put Longwood ahead 7-4. Smith's foul out down the left field line brought home Carr for the Lancers' final run.
CSU put runners in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth but was unable to score against reliever Sydney Mundell as Longwood held on to close out the game.
Game Two: Charleston Southern 4, Longwood 2
Taylor Gleason and Caitlyn Emberson both homered in the series finale against Longwood and Arizona Pilgrim went six strong innings as the Bucs took the 4-2 win over the Lancers.
Gleason's two-run shot in the bottom of the second inning sparked the CSU offense in the contest and Caitlyn Emberson added a solo home run in the bottom of the third that cleared the centerfield camera deck to provide the Bucs all the run support they would need in the conference win.
After Pilgrim (7-7) pitched around runners in both the first and second innings, Gleason put the Bucs on the board with two outs in the second against Longwood starter Sydney Gay (11-6). Mallory Kasinger led off the frame with a walk before Meghan Gagliano entered to run. She promptly stole second, but Gay retired the next two batters to potentially forestall a CSU rally. Gleason made it count with a two-run shot that settled over the fence and in front of the camera stand to put the Bucs ahead, 2-0.
Emberson followed the next inning with a one-out home run in the bottom of the third to put CSU ahead 3-0. The junior catcher connected on the second pitch from reliever Sydney Backstrom for her fourth home run of the season.
After the Bucs and Lancers traded zeroes over the next few frames, Nina Del Rio put one more on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Summer Moore drew a one-out walk and Kendall Anderson entered the game to run. Anderson recorded her 16th steal of the season to move into scoring position and scored on Del Rio's RBI single to right field to put the Bucs ahead 4-0.
Jessica Smith provided fireworks for the Lancers in the top of the seventh inning as the third baseman connected on a two-run home run to left centerfield scoring Kasey Carr with none out in the frame. Nicole Ayala (S, 1) came in to record her first save of the season getting a pair of grounders and an infield popup to close out the game.
News & Notes
- Gleason's pair of home runs marked the second time the freshman has homered twice in the same day, but not in the same game in 2018. Gleason previously achieved the mark on February 16 with home runs against Valparaiso and Eastern Kentucky.
- Pilgrim leads the Bucs in both wins (7) and appearances (19) following Saturday's doubleheader against the Lancers. She pitched in all three games this weekend against Longwood and was the pitcher of record twice.
- Caitlyn Emberson reached base in both games on Saturday to improve her season-best on-base streak to 13 consecutive games.
- Mallory Kasinger's hitting streak came to an end at seven games after being held hitless in the series finale against the Lancers.
Charleston Southern steps out of non-conference play on Tuesday night as the Buccaneers travel to the Patriots Point Athletic Conference and Lowcountry rival College of Charleston. First pitch between the teams is set for 6 p.m.