CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern's Marci Christian sits atop the national leaderboard for home runs as the NCAA released their first statistical rankings of the 2015 season, while the Bucs have several players ranked among the top 100 in multiple categories including Cheyenne Gandara and Amanda Matsumoto.
Christian, a redshirt senior from Arvonia, Va., is tied for the national lead with 12 home runs over her first 22 games played this season. Christian homered four times this past week, including twice in CSU's 6-3 win over Jacksonville State to continue her ascent in both the CSU career and single season home run marks. Her 12 home runs have included four games this season where she has gone deep twice and are three shy of the CSU single season mark of 12 established following the 2013 season by Christian.
Christian's home run mark has been equaled by Washington's Courtney Gano as the duo sit atop a top five that includes Oklahoma's Lauren Chamberlain (11), LSU's Sahvanna Jaquish (11) and Charleston Southern teammate Cheyenne Gandara (10). Christian is also currently sixth in home runs per game at 0.55, 30th in RBI with 27, 82nd in runs per game at 1.00 and 19th in slugging percentage at .952.
In addition to her marks in the NCAA, Christian currently is the Big South leader in home runs, RBI and slugging percentage.
Gandara is also among the national leaders heading into CSU's final spring tournament of the semester sitting fifth in home runs with 10 on the year. The Hemet, Calif. native is also 83rd in nation in RBI per game.
Inside the circle, Gandara has also made her mark on the NCAA landscape and enters the week 22nd in the nation with three shutouts, 24th in wins with 9 on the season and 25th with 88 strikeouts on the season.
Gandara, in addition to her NCAA accolades, currently leads the Big South in strikeouts, strikeouts per seven innings and victories.
Matsumoto, the Bucs leader in batting average at .464 leads the Big South and is ranked 66th in the NCAA in the category. She is also 82nd in runs per game at 1.00 and 116th in on-base percentage at .526.
Freshman Stephanie Baro is also among the national leaders in the sacrifice fly category, sitting 48th overall with two on the year.
As a team, Charleston Southern leads the Big South in batting average (.300), home runs per game (1.32) and slugging percentage (.519). The Bucs are 80th in the NCAA in batting average, 18th in homers per game and 30th in slugging percentage on the season.
CSU also leads the conference in earned run average at 2.45, sitting 37th overall in the NCAA Division I standings inside the circle.
The Bucs continue the 2015 season tomorrow morning as CSU hosts Youngstown State in a doubleheader on the Big South Network. John Peters and Hayes Holdsworth will call the action with first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m.