CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern begins the fifth weekend of the 2015 season as the Buccaneers host their fourth CSU Tournament of the season. The late addition of Iona to the tournament schedule raises the total to four teams that will face off at the CSU Softball Field this weekend featuring the Bucs and Gaels, as well as the Wright State Raiders and the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.
The Bucs will open play on Friday afternoon against Wright State at 1 p.m., while taking on Iona at 3 p.m. CSU closes out the weekend slate against Jacksonville State and Iona on Saturday afternoon.
Last weekend the Buccaneers fell in their first three games of the Carolina Classic before bouncing back with a win against Tennessee State in their final game. CSU also took their midweek game against visiting Loyola Chicago on the CSU Softball Field on Wednesday afternoon, 4-2.
This is CSU's final home tournament of the 2015 season. CSU hosts Youngstown State in a doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon before traveling out to California next weekend to take on UC Santa Barbara before the Easton Tournament at Cal State Fullerton.
Bucs Against the Tournament Field under Winkler...
Head Coach Shane Winkler is 1-3 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 picked up their lone win against tournament foe Jacksonville State last season at the CSU Softball Field on February 14th. The Bucs fell in their lone contest against Wright State, while CSU has not faced off against Iona in Winkler's tenure.
Feb. 24, 2014 vs. Wright State (CofC) L, 4-6
Feb. 14, 2014 Jacksonville State W, 3-0
Feb. 15, 2014 Jacksonville State L, 1-9
Feb. 16, 2014 Jacksonville State L, 2-5
Scouting Wright State...
*Wright State has struggled in the 2015 season to date and enters the tournament winless following their first three weekends.
*The Raiders have faced a tough test in the season already, falling to No. 14 Arizona in their season opener, while dropping a pair of games to No. 8 Georgia this past week in Athens.
*Libby Pfeffer leads the Wright State offense on the season with nine hits, a double, two home runs and a .321 batting average over the first 11 games of the season.
*Montana Wear and Ashley Sharp have seen a majority of the action inside the circle this season, but both have struggled as the Raiders pitching staff currently possesses a 9.22 earned run average.
*Iona also enters the weekend winless in the 2015 season due to a majority of their schedule over the first month being cancelled due to weather.
*The Gaels only two games that have been played both came last weekend in Lexington, S.C. with Iona falling to UNC Greensboro, 8-5, and George Washington, 13-2.
*Sarah Schutz is the team's leader from the plate connecting at a .571 clip with a team-high four hits and a double.
*Sarah McMahon, Jordan Courage and Jessica Harkness will all see time inside the circle this weekend for the Gaels with the trio combining on the seasno for a 13.50 earned run average.
Scouting Jacksonville State...
*Jacksonville State enters the weekend with a 9-6 record on the year, opening the season winning four of their first five games at the Mercer Invitational to open the year.
*The Gamecocks have tangled with Campbell, one of CSU's rivals in the Big South Conference, already this season, falling in both games to the Camels, 6-2 and 8-1 last weekend at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic held at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex.
*Jordan Bullock leads the JSU offense on the season with a .419 batting average, while Cadi Oliver is the team's hits (15) and home runs (2) leader.
*Logan Green and Whitney Gillespie will see a majority of the time inside the circle this weekend for the Gamecocks, while Taylor West will also see time inside the circle as JSU's pitching staff goes five deep on the season.
Bucs against the Metro Atlantic under Winkler...
The Buccaneers are 4-2 against the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference over the past seven years under head coach Shane Winkler. Winkler has faced off against Canisius (1-1), Fairfield (0-1) and Rider (3-0), but the Bucs have never lined up against the Gaels during that time. Last season the Bucs swept Rider in all three games played at the CSU Softball Field
March 18, 2014 Rider W, 7-0
March 19, 2014 Rider W, 5-0
Rider W, 2-1
Bucs against the Horizon League under Winkler...
The Buccaneers are 2-4 against the Horizon League under Winkler, facing Oakland (1-0), Valparaiso (0-3), Wright State (0-1) and Youngstown State (1-0) in Winkler's seven-year tenure at CSU. The Bucs will take on Horizon League member Youngstown State next week at the CSU Softball Field on Tuesday afternoon. In their only contest against the Raiders, the Bucs fell back in the 2012 season at the College of Charleston Classic.
Feb. 24, 2012 vs. Wright State L, 4-6
Bucs against the Ohio Valley Conference under Winkler...
The Buccaneers are 4-5 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), Jacksonville State (1-2), Tennessee Tech (1-1) and Tennessee State. The Gamecocks will be the third Ohio Valley opponent for CSU in the past three weekends as the Bucs split against Tennessee Tech at home in the Willie Jewell's Invitational, while topping Tennessee State last weekend at the Carolina Classic hosted by USC.
Tennessee Tech W, 8-5
Feb. 28, 2015 vs. Tennesse State W, 7-0
CSU Schedule in the Carolina Classic...
Charleston Southern's first road tournament did not go exactly as planned for the Buccaneers as CSU struggled away from the friendly confines of the CSU Softball Field in going 1-3 at the Carolina Classic. Brittany McPherson connected on her first collegiate home run of the tournament, while Cheyenne Gandara (twice) and Marci Christian also homered on the weekend at the Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field:
Feb. 27, 2015 vs. No. 24 South Alabama L, 2-3
at South Carolina L, 3-10
Feb. 28, 2015 vs. Marshall L, 1-6
vs. Tennessee State W, 7-0
Charleston Southern will head west for the fourth straight season next week as the Buccaneers take on UC Santa Barbara in a doubleheader next Thursday before opening the Easton Tournament hosted by Cal State Fullerton running on March 13-14. The Bucs have made their annual trip out west since the 2012 season and puts many players on the current roster back near their hometowns as CSU boasts seven players from the Golden State this season.
The California Schedule (All times PST)
Mar. 12, 2015 at UC Santa Barbara (DH) 12 p.m.
Mar. 13, 2015 vs. Nebraska 12:30 p.m.
vs. DePaul 3 p.m.
Mar. 14, 2015 vs. Boise State 10 a.m.
at Cal State Fullerton 8 p.m.