HONOLULU, Hawaii – Jade Gandara connected on the second pitch she saw in the bottom of the seventh for a walk-off home run that pushed Charleston Southern past Seattle, 4-3, on Saturday.
Gandara led the Buccaneers (10-10) at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance including two RBI in the Bucs' win. Reliever Holly Clark (4-2) picked up the win with two shutout innings in relief of a strong start from Arizona Pilgrim.
An aggressive CSU offense responded in the bottom of the inning as Amanda Matsumoto put a hard grounder in play and beat the throw after Seattle's second baseman fumbled the ball. With Stevi Johnson at the plate, Matsumoto stole second base for her 77th career steal. Johnson executed a sacrifice bunt to move Matsumoto to third, and sister power hitters Jade Gandara and Cheyenne Gandara each connected on singles. With the bases loaded, Brittany McPherson got the Bucs tying run across with a walk, evening the score at 2-2 after the first inning.
CSU recorded its go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth. Matsumoto once again got things going for the Bucs with a single off a bunt. The speedy senior stole second and Johnson got her across with a sacrifice bunt coupled with a muffed throw by Seattle's defense.
The Redhawks tied up the game in the top of the sixth inning with back-to-back doubles from Megan Ottino and Cherise Silvan. The Bucs were unable to put up a run in the bottom of the inning, but Clark stepped up big in the circle and set the side down in order to give CSU a second chance.
Jade Gandara seized the opportunity and led the Bucs off with a walk-off home run just inside the right field foul post for the 4-3 CSU victory. The game-winning hit marked Gandara's seventh home run this season.
CSU now turns its attention to this afternoon as they take on Hawaii. First pitch between the Buccaneers and the Rainbow Wahine is set for 7:00 p.m. (EST).