CHARLESTON, S.C. – Hot bats and four home runs led Charleston Southern to an 8-3 victory over Alabama State on Tuesday afternoon at CSU Softball Field.
Holly Clark opened the game in the circle for the Bucs and recorded two strikeouts while allowing two earned runs through just over two innings. Arizona Pilgrim (5-9) entered the game in the third frame and held ASU hitless while striking out one through the fifth. Nicole Ayala closed out the contest, allowing one earned run and striking out a pair in the Buccaneer win.
Alabama State (11-23) came out swinging and scored two runs off of three hits and one CSU error in the first frame. A walk put Amanda Matsumoto on base in the bottom of the inning. The fleet-footed senior stole second, then advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Jade Gandara knocked the Bucs' first run in with a single up the middle, while sister Cheyenne added two more with a home run over right center. Emberson kept the big bats going and followed with a solo home run to right field to give the Bucs the 4-2 advantage after one complete frame.
Emberson recorded her second solo home run in the bottom of the third on an 0-2 count. With two outs and a runner on first, DeLio followed suit and homered to right field to give CSU the 7-2 lead after three.
Several walks loaded the bases for the Bucs in the bottom of the fifth, and a rip up the middle from Stevi Johnson got CSU's eighth and final run across for a score of 8-2.
Perry Hindi led the Hornets off with an infield hit to open the sixth frame. CSU's defense came up big as Ayala retired ASU's next batter and DeLio caught the runner stealing to put two away and clear the bases. First baseman Diauna Nelson came to the plate and connected for the Hornets' lone home run of the contest and the freshman's first collegiate homer.
In the top of the seventh Ayala shut down the Hornets allowing one hit and picking up her second strikeout to close out the 8-3 win at home.
The Buccaneers now turn their attention on the road as they head to Radford for a weekend conference series with the Highlanders. First pitch at Radford Softball Stadium is set for Saturday at 1:00 p.m. on the Big South Network.