Pilgrim records first collegiate no-hitter as Bucs sweep S.C. State in Tuesday doubleheader

Pilgrim records first collegiate no-hitter as Bucs sweep S.C. State in Tuesday doubleheader

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – Arizona Pilgrim recorded her first collegiate no-hitter at Lady Bulldog Softball Field to headline the Charleston Southern doubleheader sweep of South Carolina State on Tuesday afternoon.

The Bucs (13-21) shutout the Lady Bulldogs, 7-0, in game one and Pilgrim (4-7) recorded eight strikeouts in the complete game effort. 

Nicole Ayala (3-3) led CSU in the circle in game two with one strikeout, while allowing five hits and two earned runs in the 11-2 CSU win.  Reliever Holly Clark entered the game in the fifth inning and closed out the Buccaneer victory with a strikeout.

Stevi Johnson led CSU at the plate with an inside-the-park home run. It was her second homer of the season and the Buccaneers' 40th overall in 2017.  Johnson finished the day with two doubles and four RBI.

The Buccaneers now turn their attention back at home as they welcome Coastal Carolina to CSU Softball Field on Wednesday.  First pitch between the Bucs and the Chanticleers is set for 3 p.m. on the Big South Network.

Game One: Charleston Southern 7, S.C. State 0

Arizona Pilgrim pitched her first collegiate no-hitter as Charleston Southern shutout South Carolina State in a 7-0 victory on Tuesday afternoon.

Pilgrim went the distance for the Buccaneers, recording eight strikeouts in the complete effort. The sophomore faced four batters over the minimum (three walks, one CSU error) in the no-hit bid.

Stevi Johnson led CSU at the plate, getting a hit in all but one of her at-bats including an inside-the-park home run and finished with four RBI.  Jade Gandara also gave a solid offensive performance, connecting on hits in four consecutive at-bats.

The Buccaneers scored their first three runs in the third frame as Amanda Matsumoto led off with a walk and stole second on the next pitch.  Stephanie Bergmann laid down a bunt for the base hit to put runners on the corners with no outs. 

Johnson came up to the plate next and connected on an inside-the-park home run, sending the ball all the way to the left field fence and giving CSU the 3-0 lead.

The Bucs added two more runs in the top of the fifth as Stephanie Bergmann doubled to the left center gap.  Johnson got the run across with another ball to left field for the double, and Jade Gandara added another with a hit to right center.

With the 5-0 lead, Gandara led the Bucs off with a double just short of clearing the left field fence in the top of the seventh inning.  Summer Moore singed through the right side to score the run, and Taylor Powell added a hit up the middle to get the seventh run across.  Pilgrim set the side down in order to close out the no-hitter and the CSU victory.

Game Two: Charleston Southern 11, S.C. State 2

Charleston Southern combined for eight hits and 10 RBI as the Buccaneers topped the Lady Bulldogs, 11-2, in game two of Tuesday's doubleheader at Lady Bulldog Softball Field.

Nicole Ayala led CSU in the circle, pitching for one strikeout, five hits and two earned runs through four innings.  Reliever Holly Clark entered the contest in the fifth inning and closed out the CSU victory with a strikeout.

Caitlyn Emberson paced the Bucs at the plate with two hits for three RBI.  Jade Gandara, Amanda Matsumoto, Stevi Johnson, Mallory Kasinger, Lexie Vanada and Destini Ewing also recorded a hit in the five-inning contest.

CSU scored in all but one inning and opened the game with four runs in the first frame.  The Bucs added a run in both the second and third inning, while the Lady Bulldogs recorded their two runs in the bottom of the third frame.  After a trio of hits from S.C. State, Ayala closed out the frame with a strikeout to end the inning.

The Buccaneers scored five more runs in the top of the fifth as Kasinger led CSU with a hard shot back to the pitcher for the base hit.  Ewing followed with a single to left field and Matsumoto scored both runs with a double to deep left field.  Johnson once again sent a rip to the left field fence for a two RBI double and Emberson got her across with a single through the left side for the 11-2 lead.

Clark went to the circle in the bottom of the frame and held the Lady Bulldogs hitless and closed out the CSU victory with a strikeout.

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