CLINTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern topped Presbyterian with a seventh-inning comeback in game one, but fell to the Blue Hose in game two of Saturday's doubleheader at PC Softball Complex.
The Buccaneers (17-25, 3-5) held off an early Blue Hose (13-24, 2-6) advantage in game one by scoring six runs at their final at-bat for the 6-5 conference victory. CSU was unable to keep their bats hot in game two and fell to Presbyterian, 4-1.
Charleston Southern and Presbyterian will face off in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at the PC Softball Complex.
Game One: Charleston Southern 6, Presbyterian 5
After six scoreless innings, Charleston Southern rallied during their final at-bat and top Presbyterian at PC Softball Field, 6-5.
Cheyenne Gandara (6-9) led the Buccaneers in the circle with eight strikeouts in the complete effort. Leadoff Amanda Matsumoto led the Bucs at the plate, going a perfect 3-for-3 with one run scored. Jade Gandara also recorded three hits for the Bucs, including a double for a RBI, while Lexie Vanada connected on a single to knock in the game-winning run.
After two scoreless innings, Presbyterian rallied in the bottom of the third with a lead-off double from Courtney White. The freshman outfielder advanced to all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt.
The Blue Hose put runners on the corners after a fielder's choice and Hope Rogers knocked in both runs with a double to right field. Megan Anderson added two more with a home run to center field to give Presbyterian the 4-0 advantage after three innings.
Charleston Southern left a combined four runners on base through the next three innings. The Blue Hose strengthened their lead in the bottom of the sixth after Presley Bissett doubled to left center to score a walked run and put the score at 5-0.
The Buccaneers came up big during their final at-bat, recording six runs in the top of the seventh. Stephanie Bergmann led CSU off at the plate with a single to right center. Brittany McPherson was hit by a pitch to follow, putting runners on first and second with none out. Matsumoto singled to third to load the bases and a Stevi Johnson walk gave the Bucs their first run.
Jade Gandara singled through the left side to put the Bucs within three and sister Cheyenne added a single for two RBI, narrowing PC's lead to 5-4. Mallory Kasinger reached on a fielder's choice that scored Jade Gandara to tie the game up at 5-5. Cheyenne Gandara advanced to third on a throwing error and Vanada moved the go-ahead run across with a single to left center for the 6-5 CSU advantage.
Game Two: Presbyterian 4, Charleston Southern 1
Brittany McPherson led the Buccaneer offense, going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a game-high two doubles and one run scored. Holly Clark (6-6) started in the circle and recorded three strikeouts through three innings. Reliever Arizona Pilgrim finished the contest with one strikeout and one hit over the final three frames.
Aggressive base running and a wild pitch allowed Presbyterian to score their first run in the bottom of the first inning. The Blue Hose added two more runs in the third frame with a trio of doubles from Courtney White, Blaire Miller and Hope Rogers for the 3-0 advantage Kelsie Sanchez gave Presbyterian their fourth run led with a leadoff solo home run in the bottom of the next frame.
With two outs in the top of the fifth, McPherson connected on a single to left center and Amanda Matsumoto followed with a hit to left. McPherson scored after Stevi Johnson ripped a single to center to give the Bucs their first and only run in the contest.
After loading the bases, the Bucs' defense held Presbyterian scoreless in the fifth and Pilgrim set the Blue Hose down in order in the sixth frame as PC held the 4-1 advantage.
McPherson led the Bucs off with her second double of the game in the top of the seventh, but Alex Cook (3-9) retired the next three batters for the Blue Hose victory.