SB Preview: Bucs host Alabama State for Tuesday clash with the Hornets

SB Preview: Bucs host Alabama State for Tuesday clash with the Hornets

CHARLESTON, S.C. - For the first time in program history, Charleston Southern will host Alabama State for a Tuesday afternoon showdown.  First pitch between the Bucs and the Hornets is set for 3:00 p.m. and fans can follow the action via live stats on and in-game updates on Twitter: @CSUGameday.

Scouting Alabama State

Tuesday marks Charleston Southern's first meeting with Alabama State.  The Hornets enter the contest with a record of 11-22 and a 2-8 mark in road games.  Alabama State is coming off its series with Alabama A&M last weekend, where the Hornets went 2-1, shutting out the Bulldogs 10-0 in game one and 8-0 in Saturday's series finale.  The Hornets were topped 11-14 in game two after Alabama A&M posted a four-run rally in the top of the seventh inning. 

Hard Core
Kendall Core leads the Hornets at the plate this season with eight home runs, 28 RBI and 60 total bases for a team-high .632 slugging percentage.  With 31 hits, the senior third baseman is batting .326 on the season.  Core's impressive performance in multiple categories last year earned her the 2017 Preseason Southwestern Atlantic Conference Player of the Year and Preseason All-SWAC honors.

Bradford on the rubber
Freshman Vanessa Bradford (7-7) leads the Hornets in the circle with a 4.66 earned run average.  The Atlanta-native has pitched for 48 strikeouts in her 22 appearances and has started 18 games for Alabama State this season.  Bradford recorded a season-high five strikeouts against Fort Wayne and Tennessee State in February for both a team and personal best.

Recapping CSU's Last Game
Presbyterian 7, Charleston Southern 6 (April 2, 2017)
Untimely Charleston Southern errors matched with the consistent bats of Presbyterian as the Blue Hose pushed past the Buccaneers, 7-6, in Sunday's series finale at PC Softball Complex.

Presbyterian (14-24, 3-6) scored in every inning and the Blue Hose offense combined for 14 hits in the contest.  After posting three runs to open the game with a hit from Jade Gandara and a home run from Cheyenne Gandara, the Buccaneers (17-26, 3-6) were held scoreless over the next three innings as Presbyterian pulled ahead, 4-3 in the fourth frame. 

Cheyenne Gandara (6-10) led the Buccaneers in the circle with four strikeouts and five earned runs in the complete effort.  Katie Brown opened the game for the Blue Hose, going five innings and recorded six strikeouts while allowing four earned runs.  Alex Cook (4-9) closed out the final two innings in the Presbyterian win.

The Buccaneers tied the game up in the fifth frame as Amanda Matsumoto led CSU off with a single to the pitcher and advanced to third on an error.  Matsumoto paced the Bucs with a team-high three hits and three runs on the day. 

A fielder's choice allowed Jade Gandara to get on base and knocked in Matsumoto to put CSU within one with the score at 5-4.  Cheyenne Gandara tied the game up with a sacrifice fly to right field to even the score at 5-5 after four and a half innings.  Jade finished the day with two RBI, while Cheyenne boasted a game-high three RBI.

Presbyterian kept their bats going in the bottom of the frame as three hits and one CSU error allowed the Blue Hose to pull ahead 6-5.  Matsumoto got things going again for the Bucs in the top of the sixth with a single to the pitcher.  Stevi Johnson pushed the tying run across with an RBI double to left center.  She advanced to third on the throw, but was left stranded as two groundouts ended the top of the inning with the Bucs leading 6-5.

The Blue Hose tied the game up again in the bottom of the frame as Hope Rogers singled to center field and Kelsie Sanchez brought her in with a sacrifice fly to right field to even the score at 6-6. 

Cook set the side down in order during the Bucs final at-bat.  Presley Bissett led PC off with a single through the left side.  A Rebekka Gross single to third base coupled with an infield error scored Bissett to give the Blue Hose the 7-6 victory to close out the series.

"Matsi… Matsumoto"
Senior Amanda Matsumoto is coming off of her best week of the season.  The Big South stolen base leader led the Bucs at the plate with a .467 batting average, .556 on base percentage and four runs scored last week.  Matsumoto was a force to be reckoned with over the weekend, batting .700 with seven hits and recording an on base percentage of .750 and two stolen bases against the Presbyterian.

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