Matthews paces Bucs offensive attack in sweep over Liberty

Matthews paces Bucs offensive attack in sweep over Liberty

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Jana Matthews connected on two of Charleston Southern's five home runs on the day and Jennifer Giles picked up both wins for the Buccaneers as CSU swept Liberty in both games of the doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, 6-4 and 11-0.

Matthews drove in eight runs overall on the day, connecting on two home runs and a triple on the day, while Melanie Stickney, Marci Christian and Linzy Rother all added home runs as the Bucs picked up their first two Big South Conference victories of the season.

Charleston Southern improves to 9-32, 2-11 in Big South Conference action on the year, while Liberty falls to 15-18, 4-7 in conference play on the season.

The Bucs and Flames close out the conference weekend series with a single game tomorrow afternoon, with first pitch on the CSU Softball Field scheduled for 1 p.m.

Game One: Charleston Southern 6, Liberty 4 (Box Score)
Jana Matthews connected on two home runs, including a grand slam in the bottom of the third inning and Jennifer Giles hurled her 19th complete game of the season as the Buccaneers defeated Liberty 6-4 in the opening game of the doubleheader.

Matthews connected on her 30th and 31st career home runs in the victory to increase her CSU career record totals, while the senior from Boonville, N.C. drove in five runs in the contest to pace the Bucs to the win.

Melanie Stickney added her third home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth inning, connecting on a line drive shot that cleared the fence just to the right of the left field foul pole.

Giles (4-22) went the distance, scattering four hits and did not allow a walk in striking out three in her fourth win of the season.

Chandler Ball (6-8) suffered the loss, going 3.1 innings in the start in allowing six runs (two earned) while striking out three. Annah Jo Brittingham closed out the contest, allowing two hits the rest of the way.

Katie Zavodny saw her 23 game hitting streak come to an end in the game, going 0-for-3 from the plate, while reaching base on a hit by pitch. The streak, which dated back to February 24th against East Carolina, tied the Liberty school record.

The Flames opened the scoring in the top of the first as Zavodny led off the game getting hit by a pitch from Giles. She promptly stole second base and advanced to third on Jill Stephen's fly out to right field. Sammi Shivock drove in her with a squeeze bunt to plate the first run of the game.

The Buccaneers battled back with the tying run in the bottom of the second inning as Matthews connected on a solo home run over the left centerfield fence to lead off the frame.

Charleston Southern added four more runs in the bottom of the third inning as Matthews went deep for the second time, this one with the bases loaded for the Bucs first grand slam of the season.

Natalie Yonan led off the inning reaching on an error, while Lizzy Olmstead and Marci Christian hit back-to-back singles to load the bases. A fielder's choice and a line out brought Matthews to the plate and the senior connected with a drive over the left field fence, clearing the bases to give CSU the 5-1 advantage.

Hanna Nichols took one back for the Flames in the top of the fourth inning with a solo home run to left centerfield and Stickney followed in the bottom of the inning with a blast down the left field line to keep the Bucs margin at 6-2.

Liberty rallied back in the top of the seventh, adding two more runs to their tally before Giles was able to close out the game.

Grace Nordan reached on an error with one out in the inning and Holly Seiz followed with a two-run blast over the right field fence to pull Liberty back within two at 6-4. However, Giles ended the game getting the final two batters to hit groundouts in closing out the Bucs win.

Game Two: Charleston Southern 11, Liberty 0 (5 inn.) (Box Score)
Marci Christian led off the game with a solo home run and Linzy Rother added a two-run blast of her own and Jennifer Giles and Linzy Rother combined for the shutout as Charleston Southern closed out the nightcap of the doubleheader with the 11-0 victory.

Christian's 11th home run of the season puts her within one of Jana Matthews' single season record, while Rother's home run was her fifth of the season in pacing the Bucs offense to the win.

Christian, Matthews, Rother and Hayes Holdsworth all had two hits apiece in the win, while Christian, Matthews, Rother and Natalie Yonan all scored multiple runs in the game.

Liberty's offense was paced by Jill Stephens and Kassidy McCoy having two hits apiece.

CSU opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning as Christian connected on the solo shot to lead off the frame against starter Annah Jo Brittingham. Matthews kept the inning alive with a two-out single through the left side of infield and Rother followed with a two-run home run over the left centerfield fence to put Charleston Southern ahead 3-0 after the first inning.

Charleston Southern added five more runs in the bottom of the second inning, sending nine batters to the plate in building the 8-0 lead.

Yonan opened the scoring, crossing the plate on a wild pitch, while Rother and Holdsworth had back-to-back two RBI singles to put the Bucs within three innings of sealing the win.

Three more runs in the bottom of the third gave CSU plenty of insurance as Matthews connected on her second big hit with the bases loaded on the day, driving in Ari Tedesco, Christian and Yonan with a triple to right field, putting CSU ahead, 11-0.

Rother closed out the game, retiring the side in order in the fourth inning and started a double play in the fifth inning following a Kassidy McCoy single by snagging a sharp grounder up the middle and getting the out at second base as the Bucs closed out the victory.

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