McPherson's walk-off paces Bucs past Blue Hose; Elkins breaks CSU single season strikeout record in win

McPherson's walk-off paces Bucs past Blue Hose; Elkins breaks CSU single season strikeout record in win

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Brittany McPherson connected on the walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh, giving Charleston Southern the 2-1 win in Sunday's series finale against the visiting Presbyterian Blue Hose.

Stevi Johnson started the Buccaneer (22-32, 10-14) rally in the seventh inning with a two-out single through the left side of the infield against PC reliever Natasha Sherrod (1-2). Johnson stole second base on Sherrod's first pitch to McPherson to advance into scoring position. McPherson followed on the next pitch with a drive into shallow left centerfield, and the PC (24-26, 10-14) centerfielder kicked the ball out of her glove allowing Johnson to score the game-winning run.

Hayley Elkins (11-23) established the new CSU single season strikeout record on Sunday afternoon after striking out nine PC batters in the complete game effort. Elkins finished the game with 166 strikeouts, surpassing CSU alum Morgan Dowdy (157, 2012) for the most strikeouts in a single season in program history. Elkins scattered four hits in the complete game victory.

Amanda Matsumoto added a pair of stolen bases in the contest, giving her 32 steals on the season. The junior outfielder finished the regular season second in CSU single season stolen base history and led the Big South Conference in the category for the 2016 season.

Johnson led the CSU offense with a pair of singles in the game, while Brittany McPherson reached base in all four at-bats, twice getting hit by pitches and drawing a walk before her walk-off single.

CSU took their first lead of the weekend in the bottom of the first inning as the first three batters reached base against PC starter Sydney Seigler. Matsumoto led off the frame with a single up the middle and stole second. Stephanie Bergmann followed with a bunt single to give the Bucs runners on the corners. Jade Gandara singled in Matsumoto to give the Bucs the 1-0 lead.

The Blue Hose tied the game up in the top of the fourth on Kylie Young's pinch-hit RBI single to left field. Her single tipped off the glove of a leaping CSU infielder allowing Lourdes Dominicis to score from third with two outs to even the game at 1-1.

Elkins and Sherrod swapped zeroes on the scoreboard until the Bucs picked up the walk-off win in the seventh.

Sherrod took the loss in going the final 4.1 innings in relief, allowing two hits and a run, while striking out four. Seigler went the first 2.1 innings, allowing six hits and striking out one.

The Bucs recognized their 2016 senior Natalie Yonan prior to the game. The CSU infielder entered the weekend fifth all-time in career games played in a Bucs' uniform and fourth all-time in career assists.

Charleston Southern opens up the 2016 Big South Conference Championships on Wednesday afternoon. The tournament field will be released on Sunday evening following the conclusion of all Big South regular season games.

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