CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern hosts Liberty in a three-game set at the CSU Softball Field this weekend as the Buccaneers will recognize their 2015 seniors, Jennifer Giles and Marci Christian over the series. First pitch in Saturday's doubleheader against the Flames is set for 1 p.m., while Sunday's series finale is slated for first pitch at 1 p.m.
Charleston Southern will recognize Giles prior to Saturday's doubleheader and Christian prior to Sunday's series finale as the Bucs celebrate their seniors' final home weekend of the 2015 season.
The Bucs have won three of their four Big South series on the season, taking series wins from Gardner-Webb, Campbell and Winthrop entering the weekend. The Bucs are also 19-8 at home at the CSU Softball Field on the season, but enter the series coming off of a midweek setback against College of Charleston on Wednesday.
Brooke Lein brought in the lone CSU run in the contest on Wednesday afternoon as the Bucs fell to the Cougars at home, 9-1. Lein drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the third to put CSU on the board, but CofC scored seven runs over the final three innings to take the non-conference matchup.
CSU took the season series from Liberty last season at the Liberty Softball Field, winning the first two contests 9-3 and 10-1, while falling in the series finale, 4-2. Ari Tedesco connected had four RBI in CSU's first win, while Stephanie Bergmann and Jessica Brock both homered in the series.
Winkler Against Liberty...
Head Coach Shane Winkler is 9-11 all-time against Liberty entering this weekend's series against the Flames.
- Charleston Southern took the season series from the Flames last season at Liberty, winning the first two games, while falling in the series finale..
- CSU is just 3-3 at home against Liberty in the Winkler coaching era, taking two of the three games at home in 2013, while falling 1-2 against the Flames in 2010.
- Ari Tedesco connected on a bases-loaded double and drilled a solo home run in CSU's 9-3 series opening victory.
- Jessica Brock and Stephanie Sbardella both had three RBI, while Cheyenne Gandara hurled a complete game in the Bucs 10-1 win to take the series.
Winkler against the Big South...
The Buccaneers are 61-72 against the Big South Conference all-time under Winkler including winning the 2014 Big South Championship.
- CSU leads the all-time series against Winthrop, Presbyterian and Campbell.
- The Buccaneers hold the all-time series lead over the Eagles, 14-10.
- CSU leads the all-time series against Presbyterian dating back to the 2009 season, 17-6.
- With CSU's sweep over Campbell this season, the Bucs lead the series 11-8-1.
- 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 Flames...
Liberty enters the week with a 19-21 overall record on the season and a 5-5 record overall on the road this year, and have an 8-7 record in Big South play on the season.
- Liberty has taken Big South Conference series wins over Gardner-Webb, Campbell, Presbyterian and Radford.
- Liberty's lone series loss came at home against Longwood, with the Lancers run-ruling the Flames twice on their way to sweeping the series.
- Kelby Allen leads the Flames offense on the season with a .336 batting average as five different players are hitting above .300 on the year. Tori Zavodny leads the team with six home runs, Alexia Taylor with 23 RBI.
- Chandler Ball and Kenzie Friesen have combined for 53 appearances, 36 starts and 19 complete games on the season. Ball (13-7, 3.03 ERA) has 95 strikeouts, while Friesen (5-10, 4.36 ERA) has 53 on the season.
Home Again, Home Again...
The Buccaneers have accumulated an impressive 19-8 record at home this season at the CSU Softball Field. The 19 wins have surpassed their total from last season with the Bucs posting a 15-16-1 overall record in 2014. Among the home highlights so far this season:
- Amanda Matsumoto is hitting a team-best .448 from the plate with 39 hits and 30 runs scored. She also is a perfect 11-11 in stolen base attempts.
- Cheyenne Gandara is hitting .397 with 31 hits and 28 RBI from the plate. Inside the circle she has posted a 11-4 record with 114 strikeouts in 86.0 innings.
- Marci Christian has connected on a team-high 15 home runs with a 1.028 slugging percentage at CSU. She has a team-best 32 RBI at home.
- Natalie Yonan (.294) has four doubles at home on the season including three against Youngstown State on March 10.
- Jennifer Giles has posted a 7-4 record at home with four complete games and a shutout win over UMBC in her season debut on Feb. 7.
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 surging and excelling over the past five game stretch which includes games against Campbell, Gardner-Webb and CofC.
- Jennifer Giles has recorded the decision in the past five games, posting a 3-2 overall record with a 3.18 ERA. Giles has 11 strikeouts over the 22.0 innings span.
- Marci Christian has crushed pitching over the past five games with three home runs, six RBI and five runs scored.
- Stevi Johnson continues to have one of the hottest bats in the CSU lineup as the sophomore outfielder has hit .357 over the past five games. She's connected on a home run and a double over the stretch.
- Hayley Elkins has seen more action inside the circle over the past five games with appearances in four contests. The freshman hurler has posted nine strikeouts against four walks over the past 10.0 innings.
- Brooke Lein has hit .300 over the past five games, lining up at both first and third base over the stretch. She's had a home run and three RBI over the stretch.
Big South Choice Hotels Player of the Week (3 Times)...
Marci Christian has earned Big South Player of the Week honors three times this season taking the accolades for the week of Feb.16-22, Mar. 2-8 and Mar. 30-Apr. 5.
- In February, Christian led the Bucs to a 4-1 record on the week with four home runs, six runs scored and eight RBI. She connected on a pair of home runs games on the weekend with two against N.C. A& on February 21 and two more against Tennessee Tech on February 22.
- In March, Christian again led the Bucs to a 4-1 record with four more home runs including the game-winners against Loyola Chicago and Jacksonville State. She added eight RBI and five runs scored in the games.
- In April, Christian led the Bucs to a 5-1 record with five home runs and nine RBI, connecting on the game-winners against Campbell and Winthrop.