Softball Preview: Bucs host UNC Wilmington, North Carolina A&T and Tennessee Tech at Willie Jewell's Invitational

Softball Preview: Bucs host UNC Wilmington, North Carolina A&T and Tennessee Tech at Willie Jewell's Invitational

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern hosts the Willie Jewell's Invitational weekend at the CSU Softball Field running from February 20-22. This week's tournament field features UNC Wilmington, North Carolina A&T and Tennessee Tech with the Bucs hosting UNC Wilmington in their tournament opener on Friday at 1 p.m. 

Last weekend CSU went 2-2 with a pair of wins on the tournament's opening day, topping Delaware 6-2 and Howard 8-0. The Bucs fell twice on Saturday to Delaware (7-1) and Toledo (6-1) to wrap up the weekend. Cheyenne Gandara connected on a pair of home runs to lead the Bucs on the weekend, while freshman Hayley Elkins twirled her first shutout of the season in her collegiate debut. 

Charleston Southern Tournament Game Day Central

CSU continues their tournament run where they will host teams from the Big Ten, the America East, the Missouri Valley, the Mid-American, the Horizon League, the Colonial Athletic Association, the Mid-Eastern Athletic and the Ohio Valley Conference over their four week tournament run starting on February 6 and running through March 7.

CSU Last Weekend...
*Charleston Southern went 2-2 on the weekend with wins over Delaware and Howard on the first day of the CSU Tournament, while falling to Delaware and Toledo on the final day

*Freshman pitcher Hayley Elkins recorded her first collegiate start on Friday and made it count, firing a three-hit shutout against Howard as the Bucs topped the Bison 8-0.

*Cheyenne Gandara sparked the Bucs from the plate on the weekend and has kept her season-opening hitting streak intact as the sophomore pitcher/utility player hit .556 from the plate with two home runs, a double and five RBI on the weekend

*Georgi DeLio connected on her second home run of the season in the Bucs 8-0 win over Howard.

*Marci Christian connected on her third home run of the year to close out the game against Howard. The redshirt-senior first baseman connected on the two-out solo shot for the final run of the game in closing out the CSU win

*Gandara recorded her team-leading third win of the season inside the circle on the weekend, hurling the final four innings of CSU's 6-2 win over Delaware. She struck out seven batters during the span and leads the team with 28 strikeouts on the season.

Winkler Against the Tournament Field...
Head Coach Shane Winkler is 6-1 all-time against the CSU Tournament Field this weekend as the Bucs' head coach enters his seventh season in the dugout with CSU. Winkler and the Bucs have topped North Carolina A&T twice and have a 3-1 overall record against UNC Wilmington. 

March 6, 2009              North Carolina A&T                                   W, 7-4
March 7, 2009              North Carolina A&T                                   W, 8-0
March 6, 2010              UNC Wilmington                                        W, 4-1
March 5, 2011              UNC Wilmington                                      W, 11-3
February 16, 2013        UNC Wilmington                                          L, 5-6
March 2, 2013              UNC Wilmington                                        W, 5-4
February 7, 2014          UNC Wilmington                                        W, 2-1 

CSU has not lined up against Tennessee Tech under Coach Winkler, last facing off against the Golden Eagles on February 21, 2008, where the Bucs fell 3-1. 

Scouting North Carolina A&T...
*North Carolina A&T opened up the 2015 season at home last season hosting Morgan State, St. Francis and Coppin State. The Aggies went 3-1 on the weekend with a pair of wins over Coppin State, a win over Morgan State and a loss to St. Francis.

*Alejandra Barcenas provided the power punch for the Aggies lineup in the first weekend with three home runs and a team-high 10 RBI on the weekend.

*Teammate Dasia Moore connected on a team-high five doubles on the first weekend and added eight RBI for the Aggies offense.

*North Carolina A&T was elected to finish fourth in the MEAC Southern Division in the Preseason Poll. 

Scouting UNC Wilmington...
*UNC Wilmington opened up the 2015 season at home against the Landfall Park Hampton Inn & Suites Invitational this past weekend against Georgetown and UMBC. The Seahawks topped Georgetown and UMBC, while falling to Georgetown in the tournament finale.

*Kristen Jernigan leads the Seahawks from the plate after the first weekend with a team-high four hits and two doubles. She leads the team with two runs scored and an RBI.

*Sarah Davis is the UNCW leader from inside the circle with two wins and a complete game. She has a 1.62 ERA on the year.

*UNC Wilmington was selected seventh in the Colonial Athletic Association in the conference's Preseason Poll. 

Scouting Tennessee Tech...
*Tennessee Tech has lined up in two tournaments on the season at both Kennesaw State in the season opener and Georgia Southern last weekend.

*The Golden Eagles have posted wins over Northern Kentucky and Georgia Southern (twice) on the season.

*Olivia Bennett has been the big bat in the middle of the lineup for Tennessee Tech on the season with four home runs on the year. She has a .290 batting average and a team-high nine hits entering the weekend.

*Sophomore pitcher Danielle Liberatore earned an All-OVC Newcomer Team selection last season after posting 15 wins, a 2.89 ERA and 143 strikeouts. 

Winkler against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference...
The Buccaneers are 22-1 against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference over the past seven years under head coach Shane Winkler. Winkler has faced off against Bethune-Cookman (3-0), Hampton (3-0), Howard (5-0) UMES (2-0), Norfolk State (1-1), North Carolina A&T (2-0), North Carolina Central (3-0) and Savannah State (3-0). Already this season the Bucs have taken on Howard. 

       Feb. 13, 2015              Howard                              W, 8-0 

Winkler against the Colonial Athletic Association...
The Buccaneers are 15-12-1 against the Colonial Athletic Association under Winkler as CSU traditionally takes on local rival and CAA member College of Charleston every season. Overall, CSU is 10-10 against CofC, 0-0-1 against Elon and 4-1 against UNC Wilmington. Already this season the Bucs have taken on Colonial member Delaware, splitting the series with them in the second CSU Tournament.

      Feb. 13, 2015              Delaware                           W, 6-2
      Feb. 14, 2015              Delaware                             L, 1-7 

Winkler against the Ohio Valley Conference...
The Buccaneers are 2-4 against the Ohio Valley Conference over the past seven years under head coach Shane Winkler. Winkler has faced off against Belmont (0-2), Eastern Illinois (1-0) and Jacksonville State (1-2). Last season the Bucs took on the JSU Gamecocks three times at the CSU Tournament from Feb. 14-16.

      Feb. 14, 2014              Jacksonville State               W, 3-0
      Feb. 15, 2014              Jacksonville State                L, 1-9
      Feb. 16, 2014              Jacksonville State                L, 2-5

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