LYNCHBURG, Va. - Natalie Yonan drilled a bases-loaded double in the nightcap to lead Charleston Southern to the split against Liberty on Saturday night at Kamphuis Field at the Liberty Softball Stadium. The Bucs fell in the opening game in extra innings, 1-0, while taking the nightcap, 5-1.
Stevi Johnson had four hits over the two games on Saturday, while Johnson, Jade Gandara and Yonan all connected on doubles in the second game to pace the Bucs (21-28, 9-10) to the split with the Flames. Liberty moves to 25-24, 11-6 in conference play following the doubleheader.
Charleston Southern and Liberty close out the Big South Conference series tomorrow afternoon at Kamphuis Field. First pitch on ESPN3 is set for 1:05 p.m.
Game One: Liberty 1, Charleston Southern 0 (8 inn.)
Liberty's Deidra See connected on the walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning as Charleston Southern fell in the series opener to the Flames on Saturday afternoon at Kamphuis Field.
See's single brought in Tori Zavodny as the Flames spoiled another solid appearance in the circle by CSU's Hayley Elkins (10-20). Elkins went the distance in the contest, allowing six hits with five strikeouts in the loss.
Elkins' counterpart in the circle, Liberty's Julia DiMartino (13-10), also went the distance in the win. DiMartino scattered five CSU hits, striking out 10 in the victory.
Stevi Johnson paced the Bucs' offense in the contest with two of CSU's five hits in the game, including a two-out single in the top of the eighth. However, the Bucs were unable to bring the go-ahead run across in the loss.
The Bucs threatened several times in the game, loading the bases in the second inning and leaving two on base in the sixth, but CSU was unable to crack the scoreboard in the loss.
Liberty pushed the game-winning run across in the bottom of the eighth as Zavodny reached on a leadoff walk, advancing to third on Sarah Robertson's chopped single to left field, and scoring on See's base hit to right.
Game Two: Charleston Southern 5, Liberty 1
Natalie Yonan drilled a three-run double in sparking the Buccaneers to the 5-1 win over the Flames in the nightcap as CSU split the doubleheader with Liberty.
Arizona Pilgrim (9-6) recorded the win in the circle with the freshman ace allowing five hits and a run while striking out three. Hayley Elkins picked up her third save of the season going the final three innings, striking out one in closing out the contest.
Chandler Ball (4-5) suffered the loss for Liberty allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits, walking four and striking out four in the contest. Kenzie Friesen went the final 2.2 innings allowing just the Johnson double in closing out the game.
Liberty took the early lead in the bottom of the first as Sarah Robertson tripled in Tori Zavodny with one out, before Pilgrim shut down the Flames offense with back-to-back strikeouts to end the frame.
CSU took the lead in the top of the second with Natalie Yonan providing the big hit in the frame with a bases-clearing double. Caitlyn Emberson led off the inning with a single, while Brittany McPherson drew a walk and Georgi DeLio reached on a fielder's choice loading the bases with one out. Yonan followed with a double in the right centerfield gap scoring all three runs to give the Bucs the 3-1 lead.
The Bucs added to their lead in the top of the fifth with Matsumoto and Stevi Johnson both scoring in the inning. Matsumoto scored on a throwing error on Johnson's single, while Johnson came across on Jade Gandara's RBI double down the right field line giving CSU the 5-1 advantage.
Liberty mounted a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, but Elkins shut down the Flames in getting the final out on a grounder to Johnson at second to end the contest.