FULLERTON, Calif. - Stevi Johnson had a pair of hits and Cheyenne Gandara connected on her 32nd RBI of the season with a single in the sixth inning as Charleston Southern closed out the Easton Tournament with a 5-1 loss to tournament host Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night.
The Buccaneers (18-12) fell for the second time on the weekend as senior right-hander Jennifer Giles (5-6) suffered the loss. She went 3.2 innings in scattering five hits and three runs, while striking out three in the effort.
Gandara and Elkins combined to throw the final 2.1 innings in relief with Gandara allowing three hits and a walk, while Elkins allowed the final two runs of the contest in the bottom of the sixth.
Fullerton plated one run in the third and two more in the fourth in building an early 3-0 lead in chasing Giles from the contest. Bryanna Ybarra, Samantha Vandiver and Missy Taukeiaho all had RBI singles over the span with Ybarra's coming in the third, while Vandiver and Taukeiaho both connected in the fourth to stake the Titans to the lead.
Gandara took one back for the Bucs in the top of the sixth with her RBI single one-hopping the wall down the left field line. The base hit allowed Natalie Yonan to score from second on the plate and cut the CSU margin down to 3-1.
Ybarra responded with her second RBI single of the contest in the bottom of the sixth off of Elkins, while Melissa Sechrest had a run-scoring double in the frame to cap the scoring.
The Bucs went down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh against Titans' starter Christina Washington (9-3) in the loss.
Johnson singled in the second and the fourth to lead the Bucs with a 2-for-3 effort from the plate in the contest.
Charleston Southern is back in action next weekend as the Buccaneers return home to open Big South Conference play on Saturday, March 21, against Gardner-Webb. First pitch in the Saturday doubleheader against the Runnin' Bulldogs is set for 1 p.m., while Sunday's series finale is also set for 1 p.m. at the CSU Softball Field.