Buccaneers fall in midweek doubleheader at Coastal Carolina; Emberson homers twice in nightcap

Buccaneers fall in midweek doubleheader at Coastal Carolina; Emberson homers twice in nightcap

CONWAY, S.C. - Coastal Carolina took both ends of the midweek doubleheader against Charleston Southern on Wednesday afternoon with the Chants winning the first game, 11-5, and rallying back in the nightcap for the 11-10 win.

Charleston Southern connected on a season-high five home runs in the nightcap paced by a pair of solo home runs by Caitlyn Emberson, but a five RBI performance by CCU's Alexis Alvino rallied the Chants past the Bucs for the win.

CSU remains on the road this weekend as the Bucs make the trip to Rock Hill, S.C. and the Terry Softball Complex as the Bucs take on Winthrop this weekend in Big South Conference play. The series begins with a single game on Friday night with first pitch set for 7 p.m. Saturday's doubleheader is set for a 1 p.m. first pitch.

Game One: Coastal Carolina 11, Charleston Southern 5
Morgan Noad drove in five runs, while Taty Forbes went 4-for-4 with four runs scored as Coastal Carolina held off Charleston Southern in the first game of the doubleheader.

The Bucs rallied back in the top of the fourth inning, sending 10 batters to the plate with Caitlyn Emberson, Brittany McPherson and Brooke Lein all connecting on RBI singles to tie the game up at 5-5.

However, Noad answered in the bottom half of the fourth with a two-run single and added a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to give Coastal Carolina the Big South Conference win.

Amanda Matsumoto had two hits and a stolen base for the Bucs' offense, while Lein's two-run single in the fourth paced the Bucs scoring efforts.

Hayley Elkins suffered the loss for the Bucs going three innings while giving up eight earned runs. Nicole Ayala pitched the final 1.1 innings in relief, retiring all four batters she faced in the game.

Mackenzie Conrad picked up the win in the circle for the Chants, throwing 3.1 innings of one-hit relief, while striking out three. She also went 3-for-4 from the plate with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first.

The Chants jumped out to an early 5-0 lead at the CCU Softball Field. Coastal scored three runs in the first on a Kelsey Dominik sacrifice fly and Conrad home run. Dominik added a pair of RBI with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the third as the senior went 2-for-3 from the plate in the contest.

The Bucs responded with five runs in the top of the fourth to even the score. Matsumoto and Stephanie Bergmann led off with back-to-back singles. Lexie Vanada reached on a one-out Coastal Carolina error loading the bases. Emberson and McPherson followed with back-to-back RBI singles, while Georgi DeLio drew a four-pitch walk narrowing the Chants' lead to 5-3.

Two batters later, Lein worked a full count before driving a single back up the middle scoring Sydney Garling and Lexi Thompson to tie the game up 5-5.

Noad put the Chants back in the lead in the bottom half of the inning with a bases-loaded two-run single scoring Angela Buccilli and Bri Chiusano. Conrad followed with an RBI single scoring Forbes to give the Chants the 8-5 lead.

Noad capped the scoring with her three-run home run in the fifth scoring Forbes and Chiusano.

Matsumoto singled in the top of the seventh and recorded her Big South-leading 27th stolen base in the frame, but the Bucs were unable to mount a comeback in falling, 11-5.

Game Two: Coastal Carolina 11, Charleston Southern 10
Caitlyn Emberson (twice), Natalie Yonan, Stephanie Bergmann and Brittany McPherson all homered to pace the Charleston Southern offense in the nightcap against the Chanticleers, but a five RBI performance by CCU's Alexis Alvino led Coastal Carolina past the Bucs in the nightcap, 11-10

Emberson led the off the second inning with a solo shot, Yonan connected on a three-run blast over the left field fence, and Bergmann's line drive clipped the top of the fence in centerfield to give the Bucs the early 6-0 advantage. Emberson and McPherson both connected on solo home runs to give the Bucs the 10-9 lead in the top of the sixth, but it was not enough to give CSU the win over Coastal Carolina.

It was only the second time in CSU's program history to feature three Charleston Southern home runs in an inning. The last time it happened was last season on March 29 at the Radford Softball Stadium. Cheyenne Gandara (twice) and Stephanie Baro both connected in the first inning in CSU's 21-6 win over the Highlanders.

The Bucs' five home runs was one shy of the CSU single game record of six, also set last season on March 29 against Radford. In that contest, Cheyenne Gandara (three times), Stevi Johnson, Stephanie Baro and Jordan Evans all homered for the Bucs.

Bergmann and Emberson both had three hits for the Bucs, while McPherson and Georgi DeLio also had multi-hit games for CSU in the loss.

Hayley Elkins suffered the loss in the circle for CSU, allowing two runs in 1.1 innings in relief. Mackenzie Conrad recorded the win for Coastal after going the final 1.2 innings in relief.

After a scoreless first inning, Emberson put the Bucs on the board with a solo shot off of CCU starter Kelsey Dominik. After back-to-back one out singled by Brittany McPherson and Georgi DeLio, Yonan crushed a three-run home run over the left fence giving the Bucs the 4-0 lead. Two batters later, Bergmann followed a Matsumoto single with a two-run home run over the centerfield fence to give CSU the 6-0 lead. The Bucs added their seventh run in the inning on Emberson's RBI single scoring Stevi Johnson.

The Bucs lead stretched out to 8-0 in the top of the third as Bergmann connected on a bases-loaded single through the right side of the infield scoring McPherson. CSU's rally was cut short as Yonan was thrown out trying to score on the play ending the inning.

The Chants put their first runs of the game across in the bottom of the fourth as Alexis Alvino connected on a two-run home run off the batting cage in left centerfield. The shot scored Cassidy Brzozowski narrowing the Bucs' lead to 8-2.

Coastal Carolina continued their comeback, taking the lead after scoring seven runs in the bottom of the fifth. Annie Robinson and Timi Tooley had RBI singles and Alvino connected on a sacrifice fly to cut the Bucs lead to 8-5. Bri Chiusano followed two batters later with a two-out, three-run double to right field tying the game up. She came around to score on Taty Forbes' RBI single, giving the Chants the 9-8 lead.

Emberson and McPherson answered for the Bucs in the top of the sixth. Emberson connected on a one-out pitch, driving the ball over the fence and into the visitor's bullpen in right centerfield tying the game up at 9-9. McPherson followed two batters later with a solo home run over the left field fence to give the Bucs the lead back.

Alvino put the Chants back in the lead in the bottom of the sixth, drilling a one-out double through the left side of the infield. The ball rolled to the fence, scoring both Conrad and Tooley to give Coastal the 11-10 lead.

Yonan led off the Bucs' final at-bat with a single, but CSU was unable to push the tying run across the plate in falling to the Chants.

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