SB Preview: Buccaneers face No. 2 Coastal Carolina in Big South Championships opener

SB Preview: Buccaneers face No. 2 Coastal Carolina in Big South Championships opener

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern returns to the postseason this weekend as CSU makes the trip to Rock Hill, S.C. and Terry Field for the 2016 Big South Conference Softball Championships presented by Musco Sports Lighting starting on Wednesday afternoon.

The Bucs enter the postseason as the only team in the Big South to win multiple games in tournament play over the past four seasons, culminating in the 2014 Big South Championship title and the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. This season, similar to that 2014 tournament run, CSU opens the postseason as the No. 7 seed.

For the Bucs to continue their postseason success, CSU will rely on a number of players to continue their postseason success this year including senior Natalie Yonan, juniors Amanda Matsumoto, Stephanie Bergmann and Stevi Johnson, sophomore Hayley Elkins and freshman Caitlyn Emberson.

The 2016 Softball Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting begins Wednesday, May 11 with five games scheduled and concludes with a "winner-take-all" Championship contest on Saturday, May 14 at 2:00 p.m.

CSU Game Notes - Big South Championships

Tournament Quick Hits…
*Charleston Southern earned the No. 7 seed in the 2016 Big South Softball Championship Field as announced on Sunday evening by the conference office.

*CSU was the No. 7 seed during their 2014 Big South Championship title run that saw the Buccaneers top Longwood (twice), Presbyterian and Coastal Carolina over a four day stretch in Conway, S.C. on their way to the NCAA Tournament.

*The Buccaneers enter the tournament posting one of the more impressive postseason streaks in the Big South Conference with CSU winning two or more tournament games each year dating back to the 2012 season.

*Twice during the stretch the Bucs have won three or more games including Big South Championship game appearances in 2012 and 2014, both against Coastal Carolina.

*Charleston Southern has won their Big South tournament opener in each of the past four seasons, topping Liberty (14-3, 2012), Presbyterian (7-2, 2013), Longwood (5-2, 2014), and Liberty again (4-3, 2015).

*Head Coach Shane Winkler is 15-12 in the Big South Conference postseason, winning at least one game every season since his coaching debut at Charleston Southern in the 2009 season.

*The Bucs have run-ruled three opponents in Big South Tournament play underneath Coach Winkler.

*CSU topped Liberty, 14-3, and Gardner-Webb, 8-0, during the Bucs' run to the 2012 Big South Championship game.

*The Bucs run-ruled Winthrop last season, 9-1, behind Jennifer Giles' one-hitter against the Eagles in Buies Creek, N.C.

*Charleston Southern has faced every single active Big South member in postseason play, facing Winthrop the most among active members with CSU taking on the Eagles 15 times in tournament action.

*CSU and Coastal have faced off against each other 14 times in Big South tournament play with wthe Chants holding the 9-5 advantage in tournament action.

*The Buccaneers have won their past two games against Coastal Carolina in tournament action, topping the Chanticleers in the 2014 Big South Championship Game, 3-1, and in the first round in 2013 at Rock Hill, 2-0.

*CSU has a losing postseason record against five Big South teams in tournament play (Gardner-Webb, Liberty, Longwood, Radford and Winthrop).

*CSU shortstop Stephanie Bergmann has been named to the Big South All-Tournament team in each of the past two seasons, earning the honors after hitting .500 from the plate with two doubles in CSU's Championship run in 2014, while connecting on a home run in leading the Bucs' offense in 2015.

*Altogether, Charleston Southern's lineup will feature five players who heavily factored into the Buccaneers' championship run in 2014 with Natalie Yonan, Stephanie Bergmann, Amanda Matsumoto, Georgi DeLio and Stevi Johnson all expected to see significant playing time in the postseason.

*Amanda Matsumoto took the Big South's stolen base crown on the season with the junior outfielder pacing the conference with 32 stolen bases. The 32 steals are the second-most for CSU in a single season, trailing behind only Christi Todd (45, 1994).

*Hayley Elkins tied for the Big South Conference saves lead on the season with three saves on the year. Elkins picked up saves against IPFW, Campbell and Liberty.

*Hayley Elkins led the Big South Conference in appearances in the 2016 season, seeing time in the circle in 46 of CSU's 54 games on the year.

*Amanda Matsumoto and Ashtin Kullnat were two of only four players to post perfect fielding percentages in the Big South Conference.

*As a team, Charleston Southern led the Big South Conference with six saves on the year led by Hayley Elkins (3), Arizona Pilgrim (2) and Nicole Ayala (1).

*Hayley Elkins pitched the most innings in Big South Conference play in the 2016 season with the sophomore right-hander throwing 98.0 innings in conference action on the season. She topped Radford's Abby Morrow (95.0) and Liberty's Julia DiMartino (90.1) on the season.

*Presbyterian College and Charleston Southern tied for sixth after going 10-14 with PC owning the tiebreaker after besting CSU 2-1 in the regular-season series to give the Blue Hose the No. 6 seed, while the Bucs receive the No. 7 seed.

*Charleston Southern was one of two Big South teams to win the season series over Longwood this season. The Buccaneers took two of three from the Lancers on March 25-26, while Coastal Carolina took two of three from the Lancers this past weekend.

*Wednesday's game between CSU and Coastal Carolina will be the first postseason matchup between the teams since the 2014 Big South Championship Game. The Bucs and Chants did not play in the postseason last year.

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