CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern steps out of conference play to take on local rival College of Charleston on Wednesday afternoon as the Buccaneers host the Cougars in a doubleheader at the CSU Softball Field. The doubleheader will be streamed live on the Big South Network, with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.
The Buccaneers enter the doubleheader with a 17-18-1 overall record on the season, 13-10-1 inside the friendly confines of Buccaneer Field, but are coming off of a series loss to Presbyterian this past weekend in Big South Conference play. CSU took the opener from the Blue Hose 6-2, but fell in both of the final two games, 1-0 and 2-0.
The College of Charleston enters the week with a 20-11 record in their first season in the CAA and has won four of their last five games, including taking the series from Delaware this past week. CofC has been dominant at home and in a neutral setting, but is only 3-4 in true road games on the season this year.
The doubleheader between the Buccaneers and the Cougars is the last in a stretch of 10 home games in a row for CSU dating back to their series opener against Longwood last week. Following the doubleheader between CSU and CofC, the Bucs embark on an eight-game road trip that sees CSU travel to Liberty, South Carolina, College of Charleston and Coastal Carolina.
Last season Charleston Southern and College of Charleston split in the only two games they were able to complete on the season as the College topped the Bucs 2-1 in the opener, while CSU rebounded to take the series finale with a 6-4 behind a Jana Matthews two-run home run and a Linzy Rother two-run single.
This season the Bucs have been paced by the bat of Jessica Brock as the senior from Puyallup, Wash., leads the way with a .330 batting average. She leads the team with 37 hits, 10 doubles, four home runs and 23 RBI on the season while playing first base for the Bucs in the field.
Fellow senior Lizzy Olmstead has steadily risen through the ranks on the field this season and is second on the team with a .316 batting average and a team-high eight stolen bases, while Stephanie Sbardella is second on the team with 29 hits and nine doubles on the season.
Inside the circle, Jennifer Giles continues an impressive junior season on the mound as the right-handed hurler went 3-0 last week in five appearances with a 0.00 ERA. She boasts the top ERA on the team at 1.86 with an 8-5 overall record in 83.0 innings inside the circle.
Freshman Cheyenne Gandara has also stood out on the mound this season with 93 strikeouts in 94.1 innings pitched, posting a 6-6 record and a 2.52 ERA. She also leads the team with five complete games and a shutout on the season.
Facing off against the Buccaneers and leading the Cougars at the plate this season is the .347 batting average of Lizzy Vaughn. The senior speedster leads the way with 35 hits on the season and 20 RBI while posting six stolen bases.
Hope Klicker returns to captain the CofC pitching staff on the season seeing action in 21 games and posts a 10-9 record with seven complete games and two shutouts on the year. Klicker has an 85:20 strikeout-to-walk ratio on the year to pace the Cougars inside the circle.