Gandara sister act pushes Bucs past Gardner-Webb on Saturday

Gandara sister act pushes Bucs past Gardner-Webb on Saturday

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Cheyenne Gandara tied a program-high with 12 strikeouts and sister, Jade Gandara, recorded three home runs on the day as Charleston Southern swept Gardner-Webb in Saturday's doubleheader at CSU Softball Field. 

Cheyenne's (5-8) personal-best performance in the circle coupled with a three-run home run from her sister power hitter helped solidify a 5-0 win for CSU in game one.  Jade's bat stayed hot in game two as the sophomore connected on a pair of home runs, driving in five RBI in CSU's 7-3 victory for the Saturday sweep and the Bucs' fifth straight win.

Charleston Southern (16-21, 2-3) now turns its attention to Sunday's series wrap up game with the Runnin' Bulldogs (9-20, 2-2) with the first pitch set for 1:00 p.m.

Game One: Charleston Southern 5, Gardner-Webb 0

Cheyenne Gandara tied a program-high 12 strikeouts as Charleston Southern shut out Gardner-Webb, 5-0, on Saturday afternoon.

Gandara allowed just one hit through her six innings pitched in contest and set a new personal best, surpassing two 10 K games in 2015.  The redshirt-junior tied Amanda Noble's program-high 12 strikeouts that was formerly set in CSU's matchup with Hampton on February 25, 2007.

Sister and Big South home run leader, Jade Gandara, led the Buccaneers at the plate with four RBI and connected for her 11th home run on the season.  Caitlyn Emberson added a solo home run in the fifth frame to give CSU its fifth and final run of the game.

Cheyenne Gandara set the tone early striking out the side to open the conference matchup. Amanda Matsumoto led the Bucs off in the bottom of the inning with a walk and stolen base.  A hit from Stevi Johnson put runners on the corners, and a groundout from Jade Gandara got the Bucs' first run across for the 1-0 lead.

Stephanie Bergmann led the Bucs off in the top of the third with a double to left center and Johnson followed with a walk.  Jade Gandara connected on the first pitch she saw for a home run to right field and the 4-0 CSU lead.  Emberson rounded out CSU's runs with a solo homer on a three-two count in the bottom of the fifth frame.

Megan Gibbons connected for a double down the left field line on two outs in the sixth to give the Runnin' Bulldogs their first and only hit of the game. 

Arizona Pilgrim went to the circle for the Bucs in the seventh inning and set the side down in order to seal CSU's 5-0 win.

Game Two: Charleston Southern 7, Gardner-Webb 3 

Jade Gandara stayed hot at the plate and led the Buccaneers with two home runs and five RBI as CSU topped Garder-Webb in game two, 7-3. 

The Runnin' Bulldogs threatened a comeback in the seventh inning, recording three runs off of three hits and one CSU fielding error.

With bases loaded and GWU's tying run at the plate, a resilient CSU defense and the tireless pitching performance of Holly Clark (6-5) held the Runnin' Bulldogs' rally off as a groundout to Georgi DeLio ended the game.

The Buccaneers got on the board early thanks to the aggressive running of program stolen-base leader Amanda Matsumoto.  After laying down a bunt for a base hit, Matsumoto advanced to second and third off of two wild pitches in the bottom of the first frame.  Jade Gandara scored the fleet-footed senior with a RBI groundout to first base to give CSU the 1-0 lead.

CSU added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth after Stevi Johnson singled to shortstop and Jade Gandara homered to center field.  The Buccaneers kept things going in the fifth frame with an RBI single up the middle from  Matsumoto.  Stephanie Bergmann executed a squeeze play and scored Matsumoto with a sacrifice bunt and Johnson followed with a base hit to right field. 

With the 5-0 lead and two outs, Jade Gandara connected for her second home run of the game and third of the day to score two more runs and give CSU the 7-0 advantage after five complete innings.

Gardner-Webb left three runners on base in the sixth frame and Mackenzie Thompson (2-9) set the Bucs' side down in order to give the Runnin' Bulldogs their last shot at a comeback. 

GWU kept their hope alive as the leadoff batter reached on a CSU fielding error.  Rachel Cumiskey moved the runner with a single up the middle and Megan Gibbons scored the Runnin' Bulldogs first run with a double to the left field fence.  Callie Thornton got another run across with a groundout to shortstop and Gibbons scored off an infield single from Alia Booth to put the score at 7-3.

Back-to-back walks loaded the bases as Gardner-Webb's tying run came to the plate with two outs.  Clark battled back and forced a groundout to hold the Runnin' Bulldogs to three and seal the Saturday sweep.

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