NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Charleston Southern's seventh inning rally fell just short as the Buccaneers dropped the final game of their West Coast swing on Tuesday afternoon at the Matador Diamond to Cal State Northridge, 7-3.
The Bucs (9-10) rallied without a hit in the top of the seventh as CSU drew four walks and a hit by pitch to plate two runs in the inning to cut into the Matadors lead. Brooke Lein brought in the first run with an RBI walk scoring Stephanie Baro, while Natalie Yonan was hit by a pitch allowing Stephanie Bergmann to cross the plate.
However, CSUN (12-9) reliever Taylor Troost was able to retire the final CSU batter on strikes to escape the jam and secure the Matador victory.
Brittany McPherson connected on her first home run of the 2016 season with a solo shot to right field in the top of the second inning for the Bucs' lone hit of the game as CSU was unable to connect against Matadors starter Katie Chenault (3-0) in the loss. Chenault went 6.2 innings allowing three runs while striking out seven in the win.
Arizona Pilgrim (3-3) struggled in the start for the Bucs going 0.1 innings in allowing four runs in taking the loss. Nicole Ayala went 4.1 innings in relief for CSU with the sophomore right-hander allowing four hits and a run. Hayley Elkins struck out two in closing out the final 1.1 innings in relief.
After the Buccaneers went down in order in the top of the first inning, Northridge exploded for four runs in the bottom of the frame with Savannah Horvath's leadoff home run sparking the charge. The Matadors were paced by an RBI single by Katie Hooper, while Aliyah Ricks had a two-run single to give CSUN the 4-0 lead.
Charleston Southern took one back in the top of the second as McPherson connected on a two-out solo home run over the fence in right field to put the Bucs on the board.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the fifth inning when Ricks reached on an infield single scoring Hooper to give CSUN the 5-1 lead.
Northridge plated two more in the bottom of the sixth as Horvath connected on her second home run of the game, scoring Selina Tajalle in the process to stake Northridge to the 7-3 lead.
The Bucs rallied back in the top of the seventh with Baro, Bergmann, McPherson and Lein, all drawing walks to push the first CSU run across. Yonan was hit by a pitch by Troost allowing Bergmann to score before the CSUN reliever closed out the game.
Charleston Southern makes the trip back home to the CSU Softball Field as the Bucs host No. 10/12 Georgia on Thursday afternoon. First pitch between the Bucs and the Bulldogs is set for 2:30 p.m.