SB Preview: CSU welcomes Longwood for a Big South series this weekend

SB Preview: CSU welcomes Longwood for a Big South series this weekend

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern continues Big South Conference play this weekend as the Buccaneers host preseason favorite Longwood for a three-game series at the CSU Softball FIeld. The Bucs host the Lancers for a single game on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. CSU takes on Longwood in a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon scheduled to start at 1 p.m. on the Big South Network.

CSU fell in all four contests against the Lancers last season, dropping three games in Farmville, Va. The Bucs also fell in their winner's bracket matchup against Longwood in extra innings, 3-2. Longwood scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eight as Megan Baltzell scored on a one-out passed ball with the pitch from Jennifer Giles bouncing away from the catcher.

The Bucs went 1-2 in their opening weekend against Radford at the CSU Softball Field, winning the series finale against the Highlanders. Longwood was also at home last weekend in Farmville, sweeping all three games against the Camels to sit as one of two undefeated teams in conference play after the opening weekend.

Softball Game Notes - vs. Longwood*

This Weekend's Quick Hits
*Charleston Southern bounced back from a pair of losses in their Big South opening day against Radford on Sunday afternoon to top visiting Radford on Monday afternoon at the CSU Softball Complex, 8-5.

*Jade Gandara, Amanda Matsumoto and Stevi Johnson all had three hits apiece for the Bucs, while Lexie Vanada, Brittany McPherson and Caitlyn Emberson all had multi-hit games as CSU scored six runs over the final three innings to take the final game of the series from Radford.

*The Bucs win over Radford was the 200th career win for CSU Head Softball Coach Shane Winkler. The 200th win came in his 8th season in the dugout with the Bucs.

*Lexie Vanada came through with another clutch hit for the Bucs in the bottom of the sixth as the junior utility player connected on the go-ahead two-run single giving CSU the 7-5 lead. Vanada finished 2-for-4 from the plate and is hitting .524 over the past nine games.

*The Bucs utilized a standout performance in the circle by reliever Arizona Pilgrim as the freshman shut down the Highlanders offense over the final four innings. Pilgrim scattered three hits while striking out four to limit the Radford threat.

*The Buccaneers fell in their midweek matchup against South Carolina on Wednesday night on the SEC Network+ as CSU fell to the Gamecocks, 2-1.

*Amanda Matsumoto recorded her team-leading 22nd stolen base in the game and scored CSU's only run in the top of the fifth as the junior outfielder came around to score on Jade Gandara's infield single.

*Hayley Elkins hurled a masterpiece in the game against the Gamecocks, limiting USC to two runs and four hits over 5.1 innings in the circle. Elkins recorded four strikeouts in the loss to the Gamecocks.

*Lexie Vanada saw her nine game hitting streak come to an end Wednesday night against South Carolina. Vanada hit .524 from the plate with 11 hits in 21 at-bats, connecting on three doubles and a pair of home runs during the stretch.

*Last season, Charleston Southern went 0-4 against Longwood on the season dropping a trio of games in Farmville, Va., while falling in their Big South Tournament Winner's Bracket game in eight innings.

*In the conference tournament game, the Bucs had their chance to put the game away in the top of the seventh as CSU loaded the bases with one out, but aggressive play and a lucky bounce off the backstop led to the Lancers catching Amanda Matsumoto attempting to score on a passed ball to send the game into extra innings.

* Longwood scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eight as Megan Baltzell scored on a one-out passed ball with the pitch from Jennifer Giles bouncing away from the catcher. The relay to the plate was not in time as the Lancers advanced to Saturday afternoon.

*Longwood was voted as the Big South Conference's preseason favorite by the league's head softball coaches this season. The Lancers recorded 70 points and two first place votes in recording the conference honors.

*Longwood pitcher Elizabeth McCarthy earned preseason Big South Pitcher of the Year honors after a 2015 campaign that saw her lead the conference with 22 wins and 203 strikeouts. She added a 3.38 ERA, going 14-3 in Big South games on the season.

*Emily McCarthy leads the Lancers with a .339 batting average from the plate with 21 hits in 62 at-bats. She is second on the team in both doubles (4) and stolen bases (8) and is one of three Lancers to start all 22 games.

*Glenn Walters leads the Lancers in multiple categories including runs (18), doubles (5), triples (2) and home runs (3). She is third on the team with 11 RBI on the season.

*Sydney Gay and Elizabeth McCarthy head up the Longwood pitching staff in the circle. Gray has posted a 1.98 ERA and a 5-3 record in the circle, while McCarthy leads the way with a 2.18 ERA and a 7-5 record in the circle.

*As a team, Longwood leads the Big South Conference with a 2.10 ERA on the year. The Lancers have also allowed a league-best .217 opponent batting average on the season.

*Charleston Southern likes to run. The Buccaneers lead the Big South Conference in stolen base attempts on the season with 53 steals over their 30 games on the year. The Bucs lead Liberty (52) and Campbell (52), while Longwood (47) is fourth overall.

*Amanda Matsumoto leads the Big South in stolen bases. The junior centerfielder paces the conference with 22 stolen bases on the season, sitting five ahead of Radford's Marissa Gagliano (17) for the conference lead.

*Longwood's Syndey Gay leads the conference in both ERA (1.98) and opposing batting average (.204) on the season. Teammate Elizabeth McCarthy is third in the conference with a 2.15 ERA.

*CSU's Hayley Elkins contines to lead the Big South with 94 strikeouts on the season after picking up four more against South Carolina. Elkins also leads the Big South with 28 strikeouts looking on the season.

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