CHARLESTON, S.C. - Amanda Matsumoto had three hits in the season opener and Stephanie Bergmann connected on a two-run single in the bottom of the first as Charleston Southern held off Towson in the Buccaneers' opening game of the Willie Jewell's Invitational at CSU on Friday afternoon, 5-4.
The Bucs scored four runs in the bottom of the first in support of Hayley Elkins (1-0) as the sophomore right-hander went the distance in recording the complete game win. Elkins allowed six hits and two earned runs in the contest while striking out five in the victory.
With the Buccaneers facing a 2-0 deficit in heading into the bottom of the first, CSU responded by batting around to take the lead off of Towson starter Megan Dejter (0-1). Six of the first seven batters reached base during the frame with Bergmann clearing a bases-loaded situation with a single down the right field line scoring Matsumoto and Jade Gandara to tie the game up at 2-2.
Caitlyn Emberson added an RBI single, while Georgi DeLio's fly ball to right field bounced off the Towson outfielder's glove allowing Bergmann to score to give CSU a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way.
Matsumoto went 3-for-3 from the plate and drew a walk to open the 2016 season strong. The junior centerfielder led the Bucs with a .395 batting average in 2015 and utilized her speed on the base paths to beat out three infield singles, as well as scored on a passed ball from second base for the eventual winning run.
Bergmann (2-for-3) and Stevi Johnson (2-for-3) also had multi-hit games for the Bucs as CSU won their season opener for the third straight season.
Towson jumped on the board in the top of the first as Shelby Stracher connected on a two-out, two-run single up the middle scoring Olivia Yarbrough and Kendyl Scott. Stracher advanced to third on a passed ball before Elkins retired Nicole Stockinger on a popup to third base to end the inning.
The Bucs rallied back in the bottom half of the inning to take the 4-2 lead. CSU tacked on another run in the bottom of the second as Matsumoto scored on a passed ball that kicked away from Towson catcher Stracher to press the lead to 5-2.
Towson took advantage of a pair of CSU errors in the top of the sixth to fight their way back into the ball game. Stockinger reached on an error to lead off the inning, while Kaylen Minnatee drew a walk to put the first two runners on base. A passed ball advanced both into scoring position with none out.
Stockinger scored on an errant pickoff attempt from the CSU catcher, while Yarbrough connected on an RBI double down the left field line bringing in Minnatee to narrow the Bucs' lead to 5-4. Elkins ended the Towson threat by setting Scott down swinging to limit the damage.
In the top of the seventh, Elkins gave up an one-out single to Stracher before retiring Courtney Johnson and Stockinger to close out the Bucs win.
CSU 3, IPFW 1 (Bottom 4th – Suspended due to Darkness)
Charleston Southern held a 3-1 lead over IPFW heading into the bottom of the fourth inning in the final game of the first day of the Willie Jewell's Invitational at CSU before the game was suspended due to oncoming nightfall over the ballpark.
The teams will start back up where they left off with play resuming at the CSU Softball Field at 8 p.m.