ROCK HILL, S.C. - Stevi Johnson and Natalie Yonan both homered in support of a dominant performance inside the circle by Arizona Pilgrim as Charleston Southern took the series opener from host Winthrop at Terry Field on Friday night, 8-0.
Johnson connected on a solo home run to lead off the top of the second inning, sparking a four-run frame by the Bucs, while Yonan's three-run blast in the fifth capped the scoring for CSU (19-24, 7-8) in the win.
Pilgrim (8-4) went the distance in her first collegiate complete game shutout. The freshman from Taft, Calif. scattered four hits, all singles, while striking out three in the winning effort.
Caitlyn Emberson and Amanda Matsumoto had two hits apiece for the Bucs in the win with Emberson scoring a season-high three runs in the contest as the Bucs bounced back from their doubleheader setback on Wednesday against Coastal Carolina with the series win.
Winthrop's (13-33, 3-12) Keleigh Romine suffered the loss in the circle for the Eagles, allowing one hit and three runs in 1.0 innings' work. Chace Helms went the final four innings for Winthrop in relief.
After a scoreless first inning, the Bucs broke the contest open with four runs in the top of the second to seize control of the game. Johnson led off the frame with a solo home run to centerfield to put the Bucs up 1-0. Romine walked Emberson and Georgi DeLio following the Johnson homer, while Helms walked Brittany McPherson to load the bases. Brooke Lein and Matsumoto followed back-to-back one out RBI singles, while Stephanie Bergmann connected on a sacrifice fly to give CSU the 4-0 lead.
The lead stretched to 5-0 in the third as McPherson's sacrifice fly brought in Emberson. Emberson reached on a one-out base hit, advancing to second on a wild pitch before moving over to third on DeLio's infield single.
The Eagles put runners on the corners in the bottom of the fourth, threatening to push their first run across the plate. Toni Pancione and Blake Wallert connected on back-to-back singles to give the Eagles runners on first and third. However, Pilgrim shut down the Winthrop threat getting Helms to popup to Bergmann at shortstop, while catching Kim Ryder looking at strike three to end the frame.
Johnson (walk) and Emberson (single) both reached to lead off the Bucs' fifth, but Helms bounced back to get the next two outs before Yonan put the game away for CSU. The senior third baseman drilled the 1-2 offering over the fence in left centerfield to give the Bucs the 8-0 lead.
Pilgrim retired the Eagles in order in the fifth to close out the victory.
Charleston Southern and Winthrop close out the weekend series tomorrow afternoon at Terry Softball Field. First pitch in Saturday's doubleheader is set for 1 p.m.