LYNCHBURG, Va. - Charleston Southern split with Liberty on Friday afternoon as the Buccaneers took the first game on the afternoon at the Liberty Softball Field, 10-1, while CSU fell in the nightcap against the Flames, 4-2.
With their 9-3 victory over the Flames on Sunday evening, Charleston Southern took the series win over Liberty as CSU's record moves to 19-21-1 overall, 5-6 in Big South Conference play. Liberty moves to 5-27, 1-8 in conference action with the win in the series finale.
Stephanie Bergmann had four hits on the afternoon for the Buccaneers, including her first collegiate home run of the season, while Jessica Brock and Stephanie Sbardella had three RBI apiece to pace the Charleston Southern offense on the day in the split.
Charleston Southern 10, Liberty 1 (5 inn.)
Jessica Brock and Stephanie Sbardella had three RBI apiece and Cheyenne Gandara hurled a complete game in the CSU 10-1 win over the Flames on Monday afternoon as CSU clinched the series win over Liberty at the Liberty Softball Field.
Brock connected on her fifth home run of the season, while Sbardella, Stephanie Bergmann and Brandy Galaviz all connected on doubles as the Buccaneers plate multiple runs in each of the first four innings in topping the Flames for the second time on the weekend.
Gandara (7-7) improved her season mark back to .500 in the game, going all five innings in allowing six hits and one unearned run in picking up the victory. The freshman hurler added four strikeouts and didn't walk a single batter in picking up her third Big South victory of the season.
Brock and Bergmann both had two hits apiece for the Buccaneers in the game off the trio of Liberty pitchers inside the circle as Grace Nordan (1-1) suffered the loss for the Flames. Nordan went one inning, allowing six runs during the stretch, while Annah Jo Brittingham and Alyssa DiMartino closed out the action on the rubber in the loss.
Amanda Matsumoto led off the game in reaching on a throwing error before Brock connected on her fifth home run of the season, driving the 1-0 offering from Nordan over the left centerfield fence to put the Buccaneers ahead 2-0.
The top of the second inning saw the first seven Charleston Southern batters reach base with four coming around to score in the frame as the Bucs went up 6-0 after two innings.
Walks issued to Galaviz and Ari Tedesco sandwiched a Bergmann base hit as CSU loaded the bases early in the inning, before Morgan Dowdy drew a walk to put the first run across the plate in the inning. Brock followed with an RBI single and Sbardella was plunked to put the margin at 5-0. The final run crossed the plate in the frame when Georgi DeLio drew the fourth walk issued to the Bucs in the frame, scoring Matsumoto to provide CSU the six run advantage.
Sbardella connected on the two-run double in the top of the third, driving in Brock and Matsumoto with two outs in the inning to put the Buccaneers' margin at 8-0.
The final two CSU runs in the game came across the plate in the top of the fourth inning as Bergmann doubled in Lizzy Olmstead. Galaviz came around to score for the final CSU run of the game as Tedesco brought in the freshman with a grounder to second base.
Liberty took one back in the bottom of the fourth in taking advantage of a pair of Buccaneers errors as Kelby Allen scored on Sammi Shivock's RBI single up the middle.
The Flames loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth against Gandara, but the CSU freshman rose to the occasion, getting the final out on a fly out to Stevi Johnson in right field to clinch the Buccaneers victory.
Liberty 4, Charleston Southern 2
Errors plagued the Buccaneers in the series finale against the Flames as Liberty took advantage of four Charleston Southern miscues in building an early lead and the CSU comeback attempt fell short as the Bucs fell 4-2.
DiMartino (2-9) picked up the win for the Flames inside the circle, out-dueling Charleston Southern starter Jennifer Giles (9-7) in going 5.2 innings in scattering four hits and one unearned run. Giles went the distance in the game for the Bucs with four strikeouts and four runs (two earned) in the loss. Brittingham picked up her first save of the season in the win for the Flames.
Stephanie Bergmann connected on her first collegiate home run of the season to spark the Buccaneer offense in the top of the seventh inning, while Natalie Yonan drove in the first CSU run in the sixth to pull Charleston Southern back to within two runs, but Brittingham retired the final two batters in closing out the first conference win for the Flames on the season.
Shivock scored the opening run of the game for the Flames in the bottom of the second, crossing the plate following a CSU throwing error to put Liberty ahead early.
The Flames took advantage of two more CSU errors in the bottom of the third as Katie Zavodny drove in Blair Lawrence for the first run of the inning. Kelby Allen added an RBI single to bring in Zavodny, and she came around to score on an error on a grounder by Kassidy McCoy to give the host the 4-0 lead after three innings.
Charleston Southern cracked the seal on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth inning as Tedesco reached on a one-out single down the right field line. She advanced to third on back-to-back wild pitch and passed balls, before Natalie Yonan reached on an infield single to put her across the plate and put the score at 4-1.
Bergmann halved the Liberty lead in the top of the seventh as the lefty freshman connected on the full-count offering in drilling a solo home run over the left centerfield fence to put the score at 4-2. Two hard-hit shots that followed off the bats of Brooke Holcomb and Tedesco were snagged by the Liberty defense though to close out the action in the Liberty victory.