Big bats, powerful pitching spur Gamecocks past Buccaneers

Big bats, powerful pitching spur Gamecocks past Buccaneers

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina kept its perfect record against Big South teams this year as the Gamecocks swept Charleston Southern in a Tuesday night doubleheader at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. 

The Buccaneers (22-31) recorded 10 hits on the night, while a strong South Carolina (27-18) offense connected for 24 rips in the sweep made up of 12-0 and 7-1 victories. 

Senior Amanda Matsumoto and freshman Summer Moore led CSU at the plate.  Matsumoto was the only Buccaneer to record a hit in both games and went 4-for-7 on the night.  The leadoff lefty connected for a trio of hits, including her second double of the season in game two.  Moore was responsible for a hit in game one and a sacrifice fly in game two for CSU's lone run in the series. Stevi Johnson, Jade Gandara, Mallory Kasinger Caitlyn Emberson and Stephanie Bergmann rounded out the Bucs' 10 hits.

Charleston Southern now turns its attention back to conference-play for its weekend series at Longwood.  First pitch between the Bucs and the Highlanders is set for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday at Lancer Field.  

Game One: South Carolina 12, Charleston Southern 0

Solid pitching and consistent bats led South Carolina to a 12-0 win over Charleston Southern to open Tuesday night's doubleheader at Carolina Stadium at Beckham Field.

The Gamecocks connected for 13 hits in the contest, with three players contributing a pair of knocks.  Jessica Elliott (11-8) held the Buccaneers to just two hits and pitched for eight strikeouts through five innings. 

Amanda Matsumoto led CSU off with an infield hit to open the game.  Elliott set the Bucs' next two batters down swinging and Matsumoto advanced on the second strikeout pitch for her 96th career stolen base.  Elliott's lone walk of the game put runners on first and second with two outs, but the senior came back and caught CSU's next batter looking to hold the Bucs scoreless through half an inning. 

The Gamecocks batted around in the bottom of the frame as five hits and one CSU error gave South Carolina the 5-0 advantage after one at bat.

Elliott set the Bucs' side down in order in the top of the second, but Holly Clark (7-8) responded by holding the Gamecocks hitless to keep the score at 5-0 after two.  Clark finished the night with one strikeout and nine earned runs in the road loss.

CSU was unable to get their bats going in the third frame as Elliott once again set the side down in order, retiring two Buccaneers on strikes. 

The Gamecocks batted around again in the bottom of the inning as Kamryn Watts sparked a rally on two outs with her second consecutive single.  Mackenzie Boesel followed with a triple to left center for two RBI and her second hit of the game.  Victoria Williams became the second Gamecock to record multiple hits after the lefty licked a single to right field to bring in South Carolina's eighth run.  USC kept the rally going with a trio of hits and Kennedy Clark connected for a triple to the center field fence in her second at bat of the inning, putting the Gamecocks ahead 12-0 through three frames. 

The Bucs went down in order in the fourth and Clark held South Carolina to one hit, striking out a Gamecock to end the inning. 

A throwing error by USC allowed Stephanie Bergmann to reach base to lead off the fifth frame.  Pinch hitter Summer Moore connected for the Bucs' second hit of the game, splitting the gap in right center to put runners on the corners with one out.  Elliott stifled CSU's offense by retiring the next two batters to seal the 12-0 shutout victory for South Carolina.

Game Two: South Carolina 7, Charleston Southern 1

The Buccaneers' bats warmed up in game two, but CSU was still unable to keep pace with the Gamecocks offense, falling to South Carolina 7-1 to wrap up Tuesday night's doubleheader at Carolina Stadium at Beckham Field.

Amanda Matsumoto led CSU with a trio of hits in her four at bats and connected for her second double of the season.  The lefty leadoff was the only Buccaneer to record multiple hits in the road loss and the senior shared a game-high three hits with South Carolina's Taylor Williams. 

Freshman Summer Moore gave CSU its lone run of the night with a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth frame, marking her second RBI of the season. 

Stevi Johnson got the Bucs' offense going in the first frame, connecting for a double down the right field line for CSU's first hit.  Jade Gandara followed with a rip to center field, but Cayla Drotar (6-2) retired the next two batters to end the rally.

Nicole Ayala (1-2) retired the Gamecocks' first two batters to open the bottom of the frame.  Victoria Williams rallied on two outs with a single back up the middle and Alyssa VanDerveer followed with a home run to left center to give South Carolina the 2-0 lead after one inning.

The Gamecocks stayed hot in the bottom of the frame, recording four consecutive hits for three runs and the 5-0.  Georgi DeLio recorded CSU's first out of the inning with a throw down to catch a Gamecock stealing and reliever Arizona Pilgrim came in to retire South Carolina's next two batters.  The sophomore pitcher finished the night with one strikeout and two earned runs.

The Bucs threatened to score in the third after Matsumoto led off with a long ball to left center for the senior's second double of the season.  Gandara reached base on a walk to put runners on first and second with one out, but USC turned a double play to thwart the CSU's chance of scoring.

Pilgrim held South Carolina to one hit in the bottom of the third and Mallory Kasinger opened the fourth frame with a double to deep center field.  Bergmann laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the run to third and Moore followed with a sacrifice fly to put the Bucs on the board.

Taylor Williams responded for South Carolina with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the inning.  Pilgrim retired the next two batters, but the Gamecocks added another run after Mackenzie Boesel laid into the first pitch she saw for a solo shot over right center and the 7-1 South Carolina lead. 

Matsumoto recorded a hit in her next two at bats with a leadoff bunt in the fifth and an infield single for CSU's last hit in the seventh.  Caitlyn Emberson and Stephanie Bergmann also connected for a hit in game two, but the Bucs were never able to get another run across, falling to South Carolina 7-1 to close out the night.

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