Bucs split as Christian connects on her eighth home run of the season

Bucs split as Christian connects on her eighth home run of the season

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Charleston Southern split on the afternoon, falling in the first game to Marshall, 6-1, while utilizing a three-run Marci Christian home run to top Tennessee State, 7-0, in the Buccaneers' Carolina Classic finale.

CSU improves to 10-7 overall on the season following the split as they finished their fourth tournament weekend of the 2015 spring season.

Christian's three-run blast in the nightcap was her team-leading eighth of the season and the Buccaneers fourth of the weekend, pacing the Bucs to a 5-0 lead against the Tigers as Cheyenne Gandara hurled her fourth complete game and recorded her second shutout of the season.

Marshall tagged the Bucs for six runs in CSU's opening game of the day, but sophomore Brittany McPherson made her appearance in the lineup felt with her first collegiate home run of her career, snapping the shutout in the top of the fifth inning.

CSU returns home to the CSU Softball Field for a single game on Wednesday against Loyola (Ill.) with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. The Bucs close out their 2015 home tournament schedule next weekend at home hosting Jacksonville State and Wright State on Friday and Saturday.

Game One: Marshall 6, Charleston Southern 1
Marshall plated four runs in the bottom of the second and the Thundering Herd starter Jordan Dixon fired a complete-game five-hitter, with McPherson proving the spoiler as the Bucs fell in their first game of the afternoon at Beckham Field.

McPherson's blast cleared the centerfield fence in the top of the fifth to lead off the frame, but that was all of the offense CSU was able to manage as the Bucs scattered four singles over the seven innings in the loss.

Senior right-hander Jennifer Giles (3-3) suffered the loss in the contest, allowing eight hits and six runs (five earned), while striking out two.

Marshall went ahead early in the bottom of the second as Morgan Zerkle drove in two with a single, while Katalin Lucas (RBI single) and Rebecca Myselenski (bases-loaded walk) both brought runners across the plate in building the 4-0 lead.

McPherson's home run put the Bucs on the board in the top of the fifth, but Marshall answered in the bottom of the frame as Zerkle scored on a CSU errant throw.

The Thundering Herd pushed across their final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth as Kaelynn Greene brought in the run on a bases-loaded bunt single.

CSU put their first two runners on base as Stephanie Baro and Georgi DeLio both singled to lead off the top of the seventh, but the Bucs were unable to take advantage in falling in the first contest.

Game Two: Charleston Southern 7, Tennessee State 0
Marci Christian connected on her team-leading eighth home run and moved into a tie for second all-time in the CSU career rankings with a three-run shot in the bottom of the second as the Bucs took their 10th win of the season with a 7-0 victory over Tennessee State.

Cheyenne Gandara (5-4) went the distance in the contest scattering two hits while striking out four in her fourth complete game of the season. Gandara faced four batters over the minimum in her second shutout of the season.

The Bucs went ahead 2-0 after the first inning as Stevi Johnson started the rally with a two-out double to right field. She advanced to third on a wild pitch before coming around to score on Gandara's RBI single. Stephanie Baro followed with a run-scoring double to right center to give the Bucs the two-run advantage.

Christian's home run cleared the bases in the bottom of the second as McPherson and Amanda Matsumoto both came around to score on the drive. Christian's 27th career home run tied her with Megan Lombard for the second most in CSU history and is now trailing only Jana Matthews (36, 2009-13) in the category.

DeLio stretched the Bucs lead to seven on a two-run single in the bottom of the fourth, scoring Johnson and Gandara.

The Tigers never threatened as Gandara retired the final nine batters in order to close out the contest.

Matsumoto led the Bucs with three hits, while Johnson and DeLio had two apiece in the CSU victory.

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