SB Preview: Buccaneers make the trip to Liberty for a Big South series weekend

SB Preview: Buccaneers make the trip to Liberty for a Big South series weekend

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern continues Big South Conference play as the Buccaneers make the trip to Lynchburg, Va. and Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium for a weekend series against the Liberty Flames. First pitch of Saturday's doubleheader is set for 5 p.m., while Sunday's series finale is slated for a 1 p.m. first pitch.

The Buccaneers enter the weekend series with the power bats coming to life. CSU has connected on 12 home runs over their past seven games with reigning co-Big South Player of the Week Caitlyn Emberson connecting on five home runs during the span to pace the CSU offense. Emberson and Stevi Johnson both went deep in Wednesday's doubleheader against College of Charleston to continue the Bucs' power trends.

CSU is looking to bounce back from a three game skid as they enter Big South play. The Bucs have split their Big South series on the season, winning against Longwood, Gardner-Webb and Winthrop, while dropping series against Campbell, Radford and Coastal Carolina.

SB Game Notes vs. Liberty*

This Weekend's Quick Hits…
*Caitlyn Emberson continues to hammer opposing pitching as the freshman had another career week with the Bucs connecting at a .643 clip with nine hits in 14 at-bats, four home runs, a double, six RBI and seven runs scored in earning co-Big South Player of the Week honors.

*Natalie Yonan found her power stroke over the past week with the senior infielder connecting on a pair of three-run home runs against both Coastal Carolina and Winthrop.

*Opponents could not keep Charleston Southern's batters inside the park last week as the Bucs connected on 10 home runs over the five games led by Emberson (four), Brittany McPherson (two), Yonan (two), Stephanie Bergmann (one) and Stevi Johnson (one)

*Amanda Matsumoto continues to find ways to move around the base paths as the fleet-footed junior raised her stolen base season total to 28 on the year.

*Arizona Pilgrim hurled her first complete game shutout at CSU in Friday's opening game at Winthrop. The freshman ace went the distance allowing four singles while striking out three in the 8-0 win over the Eagles.

*Charleston Southern fell in both ends of the doubleheader against host College of Charleston on Wednesday at Patriots Point, dropping the first game to the Cougars, 7-6, while falling in the nightcap, 6-0.

*Caitlyn Emberson and Stevi Johnson both homered for the Bucs on Wednesday afternoon in the first game against the Cougars, continuing CSU's recent power trend as the Bucs have now hit 12 home runs over the past seven games.

*Charleston Southern has struggled on the road this season with the Buccaneers posting a 4-10 record away from the CSU Softball Field. All four of CSU's road wins have come in Big South Conference play against Gardner-Webb and Winthrop.

*Cierra Robinson leads the Bucs' offense on the road in the 2016 season with the sophomore outfielder hitting .438 from the plate with seven hits in 16 at-bats.

*Caitlyn Emberson and Brittany McPherson have provided the power on the road for CSU in the 2016 season with each player connecting on five home runs away from the CSU Softball Field.

*Stephanie Bergmann (.310) and Stevi Johnson (.300) have also hit above .300 for the Bucs on the road in the 2016 season with Bergmann connecting on a trio of doubles, while Johnson has scored nine runs.

*Caitlyn Emberson has crushed Big South Conference pitching on the season with the freshman catcher connecting at a .452 clip from the plate. Emberson has scored a team-high 13 runs in Big South play while sitting second among Buccaneers in hits (19), home runs (5) and RBI (13).

*Arizona Pilgrim has been the Bucs' ace in the circle in Big South play on the year with the freshman from Taft, Calif. posting a 3.12 ERA and a 4-2 record with a 35:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

*Altogether, the Buccaneers have hit .301 as a team in Big South Conference play on the season with seven players hitting above .300 in conference action paced by Emberson's .452 average. Lexie Vanada (.381), Amanda Matsumoto (.377), Stephanie Bergmann (.351), Cierra Robinson (.348), Georgi DeLio (.320) and Stevi Johnson (.315) are all above the mark for Coach Shane Winkler.

*Liberty enters the weekend as winners of three of their past five including a home series win overCampbell and a split at Virginia on Wednesday afternoon.

*The Flames are tied for third overall in the Big South standings with Radford at 10-5 in conference play, and Liberty is one of four conference teams above .500 on the season with a 24-23 overall record.

*Jaclyn Amader leads the Flames' offense on the season with a .331 batting average in 43 starts, while Alexia Taylor is the hits leader with 49 hits and a .322 batting average.

*Kassidy McCoy is the power leader on the Liberty squad with a team-high five home runs, while Taylor is the RBI leader with 30 on the season.

*Tori Zavodny is the threat on the base paths for the Flames in the 2016 season with the sophomore successful on 23 of her 30 stolen base attempts.

*All three of Liberty's primary pitchers have made over 20 appearances in the circle on the season paced by Julia DiMartino's 29 appearances. DiMartino leads the Flames with a 12-10 record, a 2.83 ERA and a 126:38 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

*The Flames are not afraid to run on the basepaths. Liberty sits fourth as a team with 61 stolen bases, but also lead the Big South Conference in caught stealings with Flames' runners nabbed 20 times on the year.

*CSU's Hayley Elkins and Liberty's Julia DiMartino are 1-3 among the Big South strikeout leaders on the season. Elkins paces the conference overall with 136 Ks on the year, while DiMartino is third with 126 strikeouts overall.

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