CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern took wins in both games on the opening day of the Charleston Southern Tournament on Friday afternoon, topping Eastern Illinois 5-4 in the early contest, while rallying back to score seven unanswered runs in topping Colgate 7-6 in the nightcap.
Jennifer Giles and Cheyenne Gandara picked up wins for the Bucs on the afternoon, while Georgi DeLio, Natalie Yonan and Jessica Brock all drove in a pair of runs as CSU improves to 9-7-1 overall on the season.
Charleston Southern returns to action tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. as the Buccaneers take on Appalachian State. Seeding for the Saturday afternoon bracket games will take place following the CSU-ASU contest and will be posted on CSUSports.com.
Charleston Southern 5, Eastern Illinois 4
A two-run double by Natalie Yonan capped off the CSU comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning as Charleston Southern rallied past the Panthers in their first game of the afternoon, 5-4.
With the bases loaded and none out, Yonan connected on the 0-1 offering from EIU's Stephanie Maday, driving the ball up and over the left fielder's head, short-hopping the wall and allowing Stevi Johnson and Lizzy Olmstead to cross the plate to stake the Bucs to the 5-4 lead. Jennifer Giles closed out the victory on the mound, retiring the EIU side in order in the seventh, getting the final out on a grounder back to herself as CSU took the win.
Giles (4-2) hurled four shutout innings in relief in picking up her fourth win of the season, scattering two hits while striking out four in the victory. Maday (4-3) went the distance in the loss for the Panthers, allowing seven hits and five earned runs, striking out four.
Eastern Illinois opened the scoring in the top of the first inning as Reynae Hutchinson connected on a two-out, two-run double to put the Panthers up 2-0. The shot to centerfield drove in Hannah Cole and Jennette Isaac on the play to stake EIU to the early lead.
The Buccaneers answered in the bottom of the inning with Georgi DeLio connecting on the go-ahead double down the right field line to push CSU ahead 3-2. Stephanie Sbardella opened the scoring with a double in the left centerfield gap driving in Marci Christian for the first run in the frame. DeLio followed three pitches later, driving the ball down the right field line scoring Sbardella and Jessica Brock on the play to push the Bucs on after the first inning.
EIU went back on top in the top of the third inning as Cole connected on an inside pitch driving the ball down the left field line and over the fence to put the Panthers ahead 4-3. Cole's blast scored Brooke Owens with two outs in the inning to put EIU in the lead.
Charleston Southern took the lead for good in the sixth inning as DeLio led off the frame with a base hit up the middle. With Olmstead in to run, Stevi Johnson and Hayes Holdsworth both dropped down sacrifice bunts, but everyone reached safely as the EIU defense was unable to get the force on Olmstead at both second and third. Yonan followed with her go-ahead double to the left field fence and Giles closed out the top of the seventh in picking up the win.
Jessica Brock, DeLio and Yonan all had two hits apiece in the game to support the Bucs, while Amanda Matsumoto picked up her team-leading sixth stolen base on the year.
Charleston Southern 7, Colgate 6
Colgate put up six runs in the first two innings, including a three-run home run by Marisa Dowling, but Jessica Brock's two-run single in the bottom of the fifth completed a seven run comeback by Charleston Southern as CSU topped the Raiders on Friday afternoon, 7-6.
Cheyenne Gandara (3-3) picked up her third win of the season on the afternoon, closing out the final 3.2 innings of shutout relief in topping the Raiders. Gandara allowed four hits and had four strikeouts in the contest. Gillian Murray (0-1) suffered the loss on the afternoon, going the final four innings in allowing four runs and five hits to the Buccaneers offense.
With the Buccaneers trailing the Raiders 6-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, Stephanie Bergmann lead off the inning with a sharp single to left field. Brooke Holcomb's grounder advanced her to second, while Lizzy Olmstead drew a walk to put two on with one out in the inning. With two outs, Amanda Matsumoto reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Bergman scored the first run of the frame on a wild pitch before Brock connected on a single to right field brining in both Olmstead and Matsumoto on the play to push CSU over the top, 7-6.
Colgate jumped out to the 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Dowling connected on a three-run shot over the fence in left centerfield to push the Raiders ahead early. Dowling followed it up with a two-run single in the top of the second and Tera Vaughn had an RBI base hit to put the Raiders ahead 6-0 after two innings.
Charleston Southern started the comeback in the bottom of the second as Hayes Holdsworth drew a bases loaded walk with one out in the inning. Ari Tedesco followed it up with an RBI groundout as the Bucs took two back in the frame.
CSU continued to chip away in the third and fourth innings as Bergmann singled in Brock in the third inning, while Sbardella ripped a single through the left side of the infield scoring Olmstead, setting the stage for the CSU comeback in the bottom of the fifth.
With approaching darkness in play, the teams started the sixth inning but were unable to complete the inning, reverting all statistics back to the fifth frame.
Matsumoto, Brock and Bergmann all had two hits apiece in the CSU victory.