RADFORD, VA – Charleston Southern came back with a vengeance and run-ruled Radford in game two after falling to the Highlanders in Saturday's series opener at Radford Softball Field.
The Buccaneers (19-27, 4-7) topped Radford (18-16, 4-4) in six innings with a hefty 10-2 victory after falling to the Highlanders, 5-1, in game one.
Caitlyn Emberson led CSU at the plate with a .600 batting average, leading the Bucs with two home runs and a double while driving in six RBI. The sophomore slugger finished the day with 10 total bases and a 2.000 slugging percentage.
The Buccaneers now turn their attention to tomorrow as they wrap up their conference series with the Highlanders. Sunday's first pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. at Radford Softball Field.
Game One: Radford 5, Charleston Southern 1
Charleston Southern was unable to keep pace with Radford's big bats as the Buccaneers fell to the Highlanders, 5-1, in Saturday's conference series opener at Radford Softball Stadium.
Cheyenne Gandara (6-11) led the Buccaneers in the circle with seven strikeouts through five innings. Amanda Matsumoto, Jade Gandara and Caitlyn Emberson paced CSU with one hit apiece. Gandara and Emberson each connected for a double in the top of the sixth and Emberson recorded the Bucs' lone RBI.
Kayla Huffman (4-4) picked up her fourth win of the season with seven strikeouts in the contest. The sophomore set the tone early, retiring the Buccaneers' first three batters with strikes.
Solid pitching continued as Gandara struck out the Highlanders' first batter in the bottom of the frame. Hunter Mundy got Radford's first run across with a double to center field to score walked runner Kayla Bishton. Gandara battled back and struck out the Highlanders' next batter, and a groundout ended the inning.
Radford added another run in the bottom of the third as Mundy singled to left field and Summer Robinson connected for an RBI single to center field for the 2-0 lead.
The Buccaneers were unable to get their bats going as the Highlanders stayed hot at the plate. Marissa Gagliano led Radford off with a single to right center in the bottom of the fifth and Bishton connected for her fourth home run of the season.
Trailing 4-0, CSU tried to get something going in the sixth frame. Jade Gandara connected for the Bucs' second hit of the game with a double to right center and sister Cheyenne Gandara moved her to third with a fly out to right field. Emberson followed with a rip to left center for the RBI and what would be CSU's last hit of the game.
Reliever Holly Clark went to the circle for the Bucs in the bottom of the frame. Brittany Wratchford led off with a solo home run to left field to give the Highlanders the 5-1 lead. Clark retired the next three batters to get CSU out of the inning, but the Bucs' bats fell flat in the top of the seventh to give Radford the 5-1 victory.
Game Two: Charleston Southern 10, Radford 2
Charleston Southern rallied back from defeat and topped Radford, 10-2, run-ruling Radford in six innings in Saturday's finale.
Caitlyn Emberson and Jade Gandara led the Buccaneers at the plate, with the sophomore duo combining for five hits and eight RBI. Emberson connected on home runs in back-to-back at-bats for five RBI in the Buccaneer victory, while Gandara recorded two singles and a double to knock in three of CSU's 10 runs.
Arizona Pilgrim (6-9) led the Buccaneers in the circle, with five strikeouts and four hits in the sophomore's sixth win on the season.
The Highlanders got on the board in the bottom of the first frame with doubles from Marissa Gagliano and Hunter Mundy for the 1-0 advantage after one complete inning.
The Bucs sparked a rally in the third frame after Georgi DeLio reached on a walk and Amanda Matsumoto laid down a bunt for the base hit. Jade Gandara scored both runs with a single to give CSU its first lead of the day. Pilgrim set the side down in order in the bottom of the inning for the 2-1 Buccaneer lead after three.
Stephanie Bergmann led CSU off with a walk to open the fourth and Brittany McPherson moved her to third with a hard hit double to the right center gap. DeLio got the run across with a sacrifice fly to left field for the 3-1 Buccaneer advantage after four at bats.
Maggie Rowe answered for the Highlanders with a leadoff home run to left center to put Radford within one. The Bucs responded with another rally at the plate as Emberson connected for a two run homer to give the CSU the 5-1 lead through the top of the fifth.
Charleston Southern stayed hot and posted their strongest inning in the top of the sixth. Matsumoto connected for a single to center and Jade Gandara brought in the run with a deep double down the left field line. Cheyenne Gandara kept the rally going with a single to right field to score Stevi Johnson and give CSU its seventh run of the game. Emberson rounded out the rest of the Bucs' runs with her second home run and 11th this season, connecting for a deep rip out of the ballpark for the 10-2 advantage after five and a half innings.
Pilgrim held the Highlanders hitless in the bottom of the frame to seal the Buccaneer victory after six complete innings.