CHARLESTON, S.C. — Jade Gandara came through in the clutch with a RBI double in extra innings to push CSU past UNC Wilmington, 2-1, in the final game of this weekend's Buccaneer Invitational on Sunday.
Jade Gandara and Amanda Matsumoto led the Buccaneers (6-6) at the plate, with each player recording two hits in their four at-bats. Cheyenne Gandara went the distance for CSU, pitching eight innings and striking out six in the complete game win.
UNC Wilmington (3-1) threatened to put the Seahawks on the scoreboard in the sixth. Rachel Willis led the Seahawks off with a single to left field, but was thrown out as Jade Gandara relayed the ball to Stephanie Bergmann and Stevi Johnson laid down the tag for the out. UNCW put the next to batters on base, but a hard grounder to Mallory Kasinger at third went for one out, and then Gandara retired the next batter to get the Bucs out of the top of the inning.
After a scoreless inning and a half, the Buccaneers' defense was put to the test in the eighth inning. Seahawks' pinch runner Tracy Haynes placed on second due to the international tiebreaker rules. Haynes advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly from Willis. Gandara struck out the next batter to hold UNC Wilmington to one run and give the Bucs a chance at a comeback.
Georgia DeLio started off the inning at second with Bergmann at bat and the senior shortstop came through with a sacrifice bunt down the third base line to move DeLio to third. Matsumoto came up big for the Bucs with a single back to the pitcher and advanced to second on a throwing error to first. With a 2-2 count, Jade Gandara drove the ball down the right field line to the fence to score Matsumoto and give the Seahawks' their first loss of the Buccaneer Invitational and the Bucs' fourth win at home.
The Buccaneers now turn their attention to next week as they host Boise State, Maryland-East Shore and South Carolina State for the Willie Jewell's Invitational. First pitch between CSU and Boise State is set for Thursday at 1:00 p.m. on the Big South Network.