CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern makes the trip to Rock Hill, S.C. this weekend to take on Winthrop University in a Big South Conference series at Terry Field. The Bucs and Eagles open the series on Friday night with first pitch at 7 p.m., while CSU and Winthrop will close out the weekend with a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m.
The Bucs are coming off a pair of losses in their midweek doubleheader against Coastal Carolina despite the power bats coming awake in game two against the Chanticleers. CSU connected on a season-high five home runs in the second game of the doubleheader led by Caitlyn Emberson's pair of solo shots, but the Bucs were unable to hold off a late Chants rally in falling in both games.
Terry Field and Winthrop University will be the site of the 2016 Big South Conference Softball Championships on May 11-14. The Bucs took the season series at Winthrop in their last trip to Rock Hill in 2014, topping the Eagles in the first two games of the series.
This Weekend's Quick Hits…
*Charleston Southern dropped both ends of the doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon at the CCU Softball Field.
*The Bucs rallied back in the first game 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, but Coastal Carolina rode the hot bat of Morgan Noad in taking the 11-5 win.
*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.
*CSU's three home runs in the second inning was only the second time in 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.
*Brittany McPherson continues to pace the Bucs' power bats on the season as the junior outfielder connected on her team-high seventh home run to give the Bucs the 10-9 lead over the Chanticleers in the second game.
*Caitlyn Emberson has had the hottest bat in the CSU lineup over the last five games with the freshman catcher hitting .533 with two home runs over the stretch.
*Stephanie Bergmann has a team-high 10 hits over the last five games and has hit .500 from the plate with a trio of doubles, a solo home run and five RBI.
*Amanda Matsumoto has scored a team-high five runs over the last five games and the junior centerfielder has added a team-high three stolen bases over the stretch too.
*Arizona Pilgrim has led the Bucs in the circle over the last five games with the freshman right-hander recording a 15:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in five appearances.
*Emberson has also been a standout at the plate for the Bucs in Big South Conference games on the season with the freshman catcher posting a .412 batting average with three home runs and 11 RBI.
*Bergmann leads the Bucs in conference action with 19 hits and six doubles, while Matsumoto is the team leader in runs scored (11) and stolen bases (7) in Big South play.
*Winthrop has struggled on the season, entering the contest with a 13-32 overall record, 3-11 in Big South Conference play.
*The Eagles have posted an 11-8 record at home at Terry Field, but Winthrop has struggled on the road going winless in 16 contests.
*Winthrop has dropped 11 of its past 12 games dating back to March 26. During the span, the Eagles have fallen to Charlotte (twice), Longwood (three times), Coastal Carolina (twice) and Furman (twice).
*Winthrop picked up their win during the span on April 8 in the season opener against Coastal Carolina, 5-3, using a complete game effort by freshman Keleigh Romine and timely hitting to earn a 5-3 victory over the Chants.
*Morgan Lowers leads Winthrop on the season with a .298 batting average with 39 hits and nine doubles.
*Leah Yong is the power leader on the season for the Eagles with nine home runs and 32 RBI. She also leads the team with three triples and 24 runs scored.
*Kiley Majette is the Winthrop leader in the circle on the season with a team-high 30 appearances, 17 starts and nine complete games. She has posted a 6-12 record in the circle in a team-high 126.1 innings pitched.
*This weekend's matchup features an interesting story line with CSU's Hayley Elkins and Winthrop's lineup. Elkins leads the Big South with 131 strikeouts on the season, while Winthrop has struck out the most among conference teams with 234 on the season.
*The Bucs offense will have a chance to stay hot this weekend as the Eagles pitching staff has struggled on the season. Winthrop enters the series last in the Big South in ERA (5.53) and opposing batting average (.323) on the year.
*Amanda Matsumoto leads the Big South in stolen bases on the season with the junior centerfielder pacing the conference with 27 stolen bases in 29 attempts.
*Hayley Elkins and Arizona Pilgrim are 1-2 in the Big South in appearances in the circle on the season. Elkins leads the conference with 37 stints in the circle, while Pilgrim is second with 31 appearances on the year.