Bucs Challenge Gardner-Webb Saturday and SundayApril 20, 2012
by CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Southern softball team looks to continue its winning ways when it travels to Gardner-Webb this weekend for a three-game series. CSU will meet the Runnin’ Bulldogs for a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m., before wrapping up the set with a single contest Sunday at 2. All three games can be viewed on the Big South Network, presented by State Farm.
GAME NOTES | LIVE STATS | LIVE VIDEO | BUC UPDATE VIDEO
Bucs Look to Take Bite out of Bulldogs
CSU goes for its second five-game winning streak of the season this weekend when it travels north to face off against Gardner-Webb. The Bucs previously put five wins together from Feb. 24-26. Shane Winkler’s club played two complete games in a doubleheader sweep of rival College of Charleston on Wednesday, topping the Cougars by 5-1 and 6-3 finals. Timely hitting was CSU’s calling card in the double dip, led by a 5 RBI afternoon from junior Linzy Rother. Rother came through with a clutch two-out, two-run opposite field RBI single in game one, before belting her second home run of the season to break a 6th inning tie in game two. Hayes Holdsworth continued her knack for big hits by driving a two run double in game one, and Melissa Adams extended her recent spike in production by smacking a pair of hits and scoring three runs. As usual, CSU also received terrific work in the circle, as Morgan Dowdy went the distance in the opener, before Rother and Jen Giles led the way in relief in the nightcap. The Bucs have dropped two of three to the Runnin’ Bulldogs each of the last two seasons, but won the last meeting, 7-4, as Kristin Kelleher’s 2-run homer highlighted a six-run sixth inning outburst.
Rother’s Banner Day Helps Bucs Down Cougars
CSU has struggled offensively at times this season, but was able to produce 11 runs Wednesday against a College of Charleston pitching staff which entered the day 18th in the country in earned run average. A big reason for that performance was Linzy Rother, who finished 2-4 for a home run, sacrifice fly and 5 RBI. Hayes Holdsworth, meanwhile, took full advantage of her 10th and 11th starts of the year to finish the day 3-5 with a pair of RBI. The Bucs are now 21-5 this season when scoring 5 or more runs.
Adams Provides Lift for CSU Offense
CSU senior center fielder Melissa Adams was pivotal in the Bucs’ 3-1 week, raising her batting average back over the .200 mark with a 4-for-9 effort which produced an RBI and two runs scored. Adams also worked two walks to find her way on base in six of her 11 trips to the plate. The Greer, S.C. native’s best performance came in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over Coastal Carolina, a victory which moved the Bucs into 2nd place alone in the Big South standings. Adams went 2-for-2 and drew a free pass in that one, and highlighted her day with a ringing RBI triple to the right field corner.
Matthews Breaks Homerless Streak
Jana Matthews smacked a 2-run homer in the third inning of Saturday’s 5-0 win over Campbell, snapping an 81 at-bats without a long ball. The blast was just the third of the season for Matthews, who still ranks number two in program history with 22 career. Megan Lombard, of course, ranks first with 25 career round-trippers, although it took her 74 at-bats into this season to launch the first home run of her senior season. Lombard is now tied for the team-lead this year with five homers alongside Stephanie Sbardella, who didn’t homer in any of her 126 at-bats as a freshman in 2011.
Bucs Among League Leaders
Here’s a look at some of the Bucs’ stalwarts stack up among the circuit’s best. As a team, CSU ranks 7th in team batting at .241, and 2nd in team pitching with a 2.45 ERA, behind only Coastal’s gaudy 2.14 mark. (Stats as of April 16)
• Megan Lombard: 2nd runs scored, T-8th total bases, 10th on-base percentage
• Jana Matthews: 9th RBI,
• Stephanie Sbardella: T-8th total bases
• Kristin Kelleher: 1st walks, 2nd on-base percentage, 9th batting average
• Linzy Rother: 7th doubles, 9th walks
• Morgan Dowdy: 1st starts, T-1st saves, 2nd wins, 2nd appearances, 2nd complete games, 3rd innings pitched, 4th ERA
• Jennifer Giles: T-4th saves, 7th ERA, T-8th wins