CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern softball continues non-conference play this week as the Buccaneers make the short trip down to the Patriots Point Athletics Complex for a Tuesday night contest against College of Charleston. First pitch between the Bucs and the Cougars is set for 6 p.m.
It will be CSU's second trip down to Patriots Point this season as the Bucs previously made the trek down to Mt. Pleasant on March 9-11 for the Holy City Showdown. CSU took on Wright State, Norfolk State, and Eastern Illinois over the three-day stretch with wins against WSU and NSU on the opening day of the tournament.
The Bucs enter the midweek contest coming off a tough stretch that saw CSU win two of its last 10 games overall with both wins coming in conference play. CSU took the series finales against Winthrop and Longwood over the last two weekends for their lone wins over the stretch.
The long ball has powered the Bucs in each of its two Big South wins. Jade Gandara and Caitlyn Emberson connected on a pair of two-run shots on March 17 to salvage the series finale at Winthrop, 5-2. Taylor Gleason and Emberson homered in the Bucs' 4-2 win over Longwood this past Saturday.
Charleston Southern won the first matchup against the Cougars according to current CSU records in the 1993 season at CofC, 11-2. CofC has won each of the last 12 matchups against the Buccaneers dating back to the 2013 season. The Bucs won their last contest against the Cougars on March 26, taking the second half of the doubleheader at the CSU Softball Field, 6-4.
The Buccaneers' home and road splits have not been kind to CSU this season. The Bucs boast a 15-6 mark at the CSU Softball Field and a 1-5 mark in true road games this season. CSU's lone road win of the season came two weeks ago at Terry Field against Winthrop, 5-2.
CofC is only the second Colonial Athletic Association institution the Bucs will have faced in 2018. The Bucs were triumphant in their previous matchup against a CAA school as the Bucs topped Towson, 15-4, in the season-opening Wingate by Wyndham Invitational.
College of Charleston will return the visit to the CSU Softball Field on Tuesday, April 3, with first pitch between the Bucs and the Cougars set for 4 p.m.
Jade Gandara (.417), Annie Bakenhus (.346), and Mallory Kasinger (.327) have helped pace the Buccaneers' offense in the 2018 season from the plate with the trio all sitting among conference leaders in batting average on the year.
Gandara (11) and Kasinger (8) have provided the power bats to the lineup, while Taylor Gleason's pair of home runs this past Saturday tied her for fifth on the team with Caitlyn Emberson with four apiece. Sarah Brown and Nina Del Rio have also been among the conference leaders with five homers apiece on the year.
Meghan Gagliano and Kendall Anderson's speed have helped the Bucs dominate the base paths this season. Gagliano paces the Bucs with 17 steals on the year while Anderson is one back with 16 in her freshman campaign.
As a team, CSU has already equaled last season's total of 62 bases over the first 34 games this season. The 62 steals are already tied for fifth all-time in CSU's single-season standings. The single-season record of 92 was set back in 1993.
College of Charleston also mirrors the Bucs in the home/road split in 2018. The Cougars are 10-6 at home at Patriots Point, while CofC is 2-4 in true road games.
The Cougars are a perfect 3-0 against the Big South this season with wins over Longwood, Gardner-Webb, and Winthrop. College of Charleston topped Longwood in the finale of the Cougar Classic, 2-1, on February 17. CofC followed the next weekend with a 7-2 win over Gardner-Webb at the Georgia Classic. In CofC's Holy City Showdown finale, the Cougars topped the Eagles in Patriots Point in nine-innings, 7-6.
Taylor Dupree adds a speedy element to the top of the College of Charleston lineup as she paces the Cougars with a .471 batting average with 49 hits, 28 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases. Kelly Sinclair is also among the team leaders with a .373 batting average and a team-high 32 RBI. Jordin Jones is the team's power bat with a trio of home runs and 26 RBI on the year.