LONG BEACH, Calif. - Linzy Rother hit a walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning for her second blast of the day as the Buccaneers slugged their way past Bethune-Cookman, 9-6, on Monday afternoon in the weekend finale at the 49er Softball Complex.
Rother connected on a solo home run in the fourth inning to lead off the frame and the senior pitcher drove in Stephanie Sbardella and Christian in the seventh inning with her game-winning blast to cap off the Buccaneers' first victory of the weekend.
Jennifer Giles (2-13) pitched five innings in relief to pick up her second win of the season, allowing five hits and three runs (two earned), while striking out two in the victory.
Shamaria Engram suffered the loss for Bethune-Cookman, going the distance in allowing nine hits and nine runs (five earned) with four strikeouts in the game.
B-C took an early lead in the game, plating two runs in the first inning and one in the third to pace Engram as the sophomore right-hander allowed only two hits in the first three innings.
Kelsey Rodney pushed the first two runs across for the Wildcats, scoring Aurelia Gamch and Calesha Shelley with a two-RBI single with one out in the inning, and Rodney added the third run in the third inning, scoring on an errant throw to put B-C up 3-0 after three.
Charleston Southern took the lead in the fourth inning, sending all nine batters to the plate in taking the 6-3 lead.
Rother led off the frame with her first home run of the season, while Trea Steele added a two-run single to even the game with one out. Three batters later, Marci Christian cleared the bases with a three-run blast, scoring MK Parnell and Melanie Stickney to put CSU up 6-3.
The Wildcats responded in the fifth inning as Joanna Hernandez drove in Rodney on a fielder's choice and Shelley singled in Michelle Banuelos-Smith to pull Bethune-Cookman back to within one.
Heading into the top of the seventh, B-C needed only one run to extend the game.
The Wildcats got it with one out as Engram singled in Wanda Darby to bring the Buccaneers up to bat in the bottom half of the inning.
Sbardella and Christian led off the final frame with back-to-back singles and Matthews advanced both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, paving way for Rother's walk-off three-run blast.
Charleston Southern returns home to the CSU Softball Field on Wednesday afternoon as the Buccaneers host Appalachian State in a nonconference doubleheader. First pitch between the Bucs and the Mountaineers is set for 1 p.m.