SB PREVIEW: Bucs host Chants for final home games of the 2015 regular season

SB PREVIEW: Bucs host Chants for final home games of the 2015 regular season

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern hosts their final Big South series of the 2015 regular season this week as the Buccaneers welcome Coastal Carolina for a midweek series at the CSU Softball Field on Tuesday and Wednesday. First pitch in Tuesday's doubleheader is set for 2 p.m., while Wednesday is also set for a 2 p.m. start. 

CSU is looking to bounce back from a tough week against College of Charleston as the Bucs have dropped six of their last seven games. All three games between CSU and CCU will be streamed live via the Big South Network with John Peters and Hayes Holdsworth calling the action.

Charleston Southern Game Notes vs. Coastal Carolina

Amanda Matsumoto continues to lead the CSU offense on the season hitting .420 from the plate with 68 hits, 47 runs scored and 20 stolen bases. Marci Christian has connected on home runs in each of the past three games and leads the Bucs with 21 homers on the season. 

Coastal Carolina took the season series from the Bucs last season, but Charleston Southern took the win when it counted in the 2014 Big South Softball Championship Game when the Bucs topped the Chants, 3-1, to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

Winkler Against Coastal Carolina...
Head Coach Shane Winkler is 10-14 all-time against Coastal Carolina entering this week's series against the Chanticleers.

  • Charleston Southern fell in all three games of the regular season series to the Coastal Carolina Softball Stadium
  • The Buccaneers have fallen in each of the last six regular season matchups against the Chants, with their last win in the regular season against Coastal Carolina on April 10, 2012, at the CSU Softball Field, winning 4-3.
  • The Bucs won the 2014 Big South Conference Championship game against Coastal Carolina at the CCU Softball Stadium on May 11, 3-1.
  • The Bucs never trailed in the contest with Stevi Johnson and Brittany McPherson both scoring in the fourth and Jessica Brock scoring in the fifth to clinch the Bucs first Big South Championship. 

Winkler against the Big South...
The Buccaneers are 62-76 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 Chanticleers...
Coastal Carolina enters the series with a 28-19 overall record, 13-4 in Big South Conference play on the season. The Chants were selected as the 2015 Big South Preseason Conference favorites.

  • Coastal Carolina had a 10 game winning streak snapped this past weekend as Liberty took the final two games of the series. It was the second Big South series loss of the season.
  • CCU has swept Campbell, Winthrop, Gardner-Webb and Radford on the season, and finish up the regular season this weekend against Presbyterian.
  • The Chants lead the Big South Conference with 70 home runs, led by Morgan Noad's 17 on the year, while Kory Hayden has 11 on the season. Five different players are hitting over .300 on the season led by Hayden's .398 average, while Noad (.386), Amanda Daneker (.368), Bri Chiusano (.353), and Kiana Quolas (.306) are all among the top hitters.
  • Qualos (16-10) and Kelsey Dominik (11-7) are the primary pitchers inside the circle this season for the Chants.

Home Again, Home Again...
The Buccaneers have accumulated an impressive 20-10 record at home this season at the CSU Softball Field. The 20 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 .459 from the plate with 45 hits and 34 runs scored. She also is a perfect 13-13 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 .949 slugging percentage at CSU. She has a team-best 34 RBI at home.
  • Natalie Yonan (.293) has four doubles at home on the season including three against Youngstown State on March 10.
  • Jennifer Giles has posted a 8-6 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 CofC and Liberty.

  • Amanda Matsumoto has led the Bucs offense on the last five games with a .526 batting average and four stolen bases. She also connected on her second triple of the season against CofC on Tuesday.
  • Marci Christian connected on three home runs over the past five games. She is hitting .417 with five hits, eight RBI and six runs scored.
  • Stevi Johnson has been among the CSU batting leaders over the past five games with a team-high eight RBI.
  • Stephanie Bergmann has started to heat up from the plate with a .250 batting average with four RBI and three hits.
  • Jennifer Giles and Hayley Elkins have combined for eight appearances over the past five games with Giles appearing in all five contests. She has thrown 25.0 innings with 14 strikeouts.

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