SB Preview: Buccaneers take on Radford on ESPN3 as they open road conference play this weekend

SB Preview: Buccaneers take on Radford on ESPN3 as they open road conference play this weekend

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern makes their first Big South Conference road trip this weekend as the Buccaneers travel to Radford for a three-game series at the Radford Softball Field on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. First pitch in the Saturday doubleheader opener is set for 1 p.m., while the series finale on Sunday is set for 1 p.m. 

Saturday's series opener will be streamed live via the Big South Network with the duo of Mike Gleason and Nate Ross on the call. Two years ago the teams were also featured on ESPN3 at the Radford Softball Field with the Bucs falling to the Highlanders, 7-1, despite a solo home run from the bat of Marci Christian

Charleston Southern took two of three from Gardner-Webb to open up the 2015 conference slate this past weekend at the CSU Softball Field. Amanda Matsumoto led the Bucs at the plate hitting .600 on the weekend with five runs scored, while Cheyenne Gandara continued her dominant run inside the circle with 17 strikeouts.

Charleston Southern Softball Game Notes vs. Radford*

The last time CSU took a season series from Radford came back in the 2011 season when the Bucs took two of three from the Highlanders at home. The Bucs topped RU in matching 3-0, 3-0 victories on May 7, 2011, with Morgan Dowdy hurling shutouts in both games.

Winkler Against Radford...
Head Coach Shane Winkler is 4-15 all-time against Radford entering this weekend's series against the Highlanders.

Radford took the season series from the Bucs last season winning two of three at the CSU Softball Field last season. The Highlanders took the first two games 11-2 and 5-4, while the Bucs closed out the weekend with an 8-0 win.

On the road at Radford, the Bucs are 0-6 against the Highlanders, falling in their series in 2010 and 2013.

CSU errors plagued the Bucs in their first game of the series last year with the Highlanders taking advantage of four CSU miscues. The Highlanders took game two on a CSU failed pickoff attempt and a Whitney Davis RBI double.

Jennifer Giles hurled a two-hit shutout in the series finale while Brooke Holcomb connected on the walk-off bases-loaded double to seal CSU's 8-0 win. 

Winkler against the Big South...
The Buccaneers are 54-68 against the Big South Conference all-time under Winkler including winning the 2014 Big South Championship.

CSU leads the all-time series against Winthrop and Presbyterian, while sitting tied overall against Campbell.

The Buccaneers hold the all-time series lead over the Eagles, 12-9.

CSU leads the all-time series against Presbyterian dating back to the 2009 season, 17-6.

CSU took series wins from Winthrop, Liberty and Gardner-Webb last season in Big South play with all three occuring on the road. 

Scouting the Highlanders...
Radford enters the weekend matchup with a 6-16 record overall and are coming off of their first two Big South Conference matchups having taken on both Campbell and Presbyterian.

Radford took two of the three contests in their conference home opening series against Campbell, winning 5-2 and 8-4. The Highlanders lose 15-6 to the Camels.

The Highlanders fell in both games against the Blue Hose this past weekend, losing the first two games, while the series finale was rained out.

Whitney Davis leads the RU offense on the season with a .323 batting average with 20 hits and 13 runs scored, while hitting four home runs.

Radford has been a pitcher by committee team this season with five different players being inside the circle with five appearances. The Highlanders have a combined 5.62 ERA.

The Last Five Games...
A lot can be told about a player and a team's last five games. The Bucs lineup is no exception with several players starting to surge and bring their averages and ERAs back in line with their career norms over the past five games.

Amanda Matsumoto has led the Bucs offense over the past five games with a .467 batting average, seven hits and three stolen bases.

Stephanie Baro has connected at a .429 clip over the past five games with six hits including a double and home run, including the game-winning blast against Boise State.

Cheyenne Gandara has struck out 23 batters over the past 19.2 innings, while leading the Bucs with two doubles and six RBI.

Jennifer Giles retired nine batters in a row on strikes in CSU's 9-6 win over Gardner-Webb this past Saturday. She has 14 strikeouts over the past 10.1 innings.

Stephanie Bergmann returned to the Bucs lineup after missing 23 games due to injury suffered on February 14. She had previously started the first 69 games of her collegiate career at shortstop prior to the injury.

Recapping Charleston Southern's Last Weekend…
Charleston Southern took their opening Big South series against Gardner-Webb this past weekend winning the first two games against the Runnin' Bulldogs. The home series win against GWU was the first time the Bucs had defeated the Runnin' Bulldogs at home since the 2009 season.

Sophomore centerfielder Amanda Matsumoto continues to impress at the top of the Bucs' lineup, finishing the weekend series with a team-high six hits and five runs scored while stealing two bases. She went a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate with three runs scored in the Bucs' 9-6 win on Saturday.

Freshman third baseman Stephanie Baro raked this past weekend with a team-high .625 batting average from the plate with five hits and two RBI. She added a double in the series finale, but made her impact felt in the Bucs' 9-6 win with a two-run single down the left field line.

Cheyenne Gandara continues to drive in runs for the Bucs with five RBI this past weekend in CSU's wins against the Runnin' Bulldogs. She drove in two in the series opener and three in the Bucs' 9-6 win, while adding two doubles from the plate. She also went 1-1 inside the circle with 17 strikeouts in 11.1 innings pitched.

Marci Christian drove her Big South leading 13th home run of season out of the park in the first inning of the first game on Saturday against Gardner-Webb. It was her first home run since March 7th, but put the Bucs ahead 2-0 in their eventual series' clinching victory.

Jennifer Giles made her impact felt inside the circle this weekend as the senior right-hander recorded nine straight outs on strikeouts in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader. She finished with 11 strikeouts on the day picking up the win in the Bucs' 9-6 victory.

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