FULLERTON, Calif. - Stephanie Baro connected on the game-winning two-run blast in the bottom of the sixth and Cheyenne Gandara allowed one hit over the final five innings as Charleston Southern topped Boise State to open Saturday's play at Anderson Field against the Broncos, 2-1.
With the Bucs trailing 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth, Gandara led off the frame with a single to left field. After an infield popup, Baro connected on the full-count offering from Boise State's Rachel Rodriguez (3-10) and drove the ball over the wall in left field for the go-ahead home run. The blast was Baro's third of the season and second game-winning home run of the year.
Gandara (12-6) allowed three hits, all doubles in the contest for the Broncos, while striking out six in picking up her Big South leading 12th victory of the season. She allowed three runners to reach base following the second inning and retired eight in a row at one point in the complete game effort.
Boise State took the lead in the top of the second as Rodriguez led off the frame with a double in the right center gap. A sacrifice bunt from Corey Hendrickson advanced her to third where she scored on Hailey Torrez's RBI double to left center. Gandara limited the damage to the one run, getting Lindsey Nicholson to ground out, while retiring Kayla Clausen on strikes.
The Bucs put their leadoff runner on base three times in the morning matchup with Amanda Matsumoto (1st), Brittany McPherson (5th) and Gandara all recording singles to open the frames, but the Bucs were unable to get a runner past second before Baro's game-winning blast.
Matsumoto added her 12th stolen base of the season in the game, tying her season-high mark set last year.
The Buccaneers will take on host Cal State Fullerton in the final game of the tournament tonight with first pitch at 8 p.m. PDT/11 p.m. EDT.