CHARLESTON, S.C. - Alyssa Heinrich and Emily Visnic combined for a two-hit shutout as Charleston Southern shut down North Carolina A&T in the late game to close out the second day of the Wingate by Wyndham Invitational.
Heinrich (1-0) went the first five innings allowing two hits while striking out six. She left after the fifth inning after setting down the final 11 batters she faced in the contest, six on strikes. Visnic followed with a perfect sixth inning, before pitching around a throwing error in the seventh to keep CSU's second shutout in as many days intact.
Bayleigh Kirby (0-1) suffered the loss for the Aggies after allowing five runs (four earned) over the first two innings. She allowed four hits while striking out two. Reliever Hailee Cutts went the remainder of the game allowing just three hits and one run over the final four innings.
Jade Gandara (3-for-4) and Mallory Kasinger (2-for-3) led the Bucs' hitting efforts in the game, while five different players recorded RBI for CSU. Caitlyn Emberson and Gandara both scored two runs apiece in the contest.
CSU took advantage of an early wild spell by Kirby to plate their first two runs of the ballgame in the bottom of the first. Emberson and Annie Bakenhus were both hit by pitches, sandwiching a Gandara single to load the bases with one out. Nina Del Rio brought home the first run with a four-pitch walk, while Sarah Brown connected on a sacrifice fly to centerfield to bring home Gandara and give CSU the 2-0 early lead.
Heinrich pitched around trouble in the second inning as Mohagony Headen and Nathaly Pacheco connected on back-to-back one-out singles to put runners in scoring position for the Aggies. However, the freshman right-hander battled through full counts on the next two batters to record a pair of strikeouts and quell the N.C. A&T threat.
Gandara and Kasinger came up with the big hits in the bottom of the second to extend the CSU lead. Gandara connected on a two-out single bringing home Emberson. Kasinger followed with an RBI double to left field on the first pitch from Kirby to score Gandara. The Bucs added another run as Bakenhus' hard-hit ball was misplayed by the N.C. A&T second baseman, allowing Kasinger to cross the plate and make it 5-0.
Bakenhus brought in the Bucs' sixth run of the game as her fielder's choice allowed Christi Takac to cross the plate in the bottom of the fourth.
Heinrich and Visnic faced one batter over the minimum over the final three innings to close out CSU's second shutout of the season.
News & Notes
- Alyssa Heinrich made her collegiate debut one to remember as the freshman faced just two batters over the minimum in her first collegiate start.
- Emily Visnic also made her collegiate debut in the circle, allowing just an error in her first time on the rubber.
- Jade Gandara continues to rake as the junior outfielder recorded her third multi-hit game of the season and added to her nine-game hitting streak dating back to last season.
- Mallory Kasinger's double was the Bucs' first two-bagger of the season and CSU's second extra-base hit on the year.
- Freshman outfielder Meghan Gagliano made her first collegiate start of the season after seeing time as a pinch runner on Thursday.
- Laina Holmgren and Christi Takac both made their collegiate debuts in the game. Holmgren pinch-hit in the third inning, while Takac came in to run in the fourth inning.
- CSU's pair of shutouts in the first three games was the first time the Bucs have held opponents scoreless multiple times over the opening weekend since the 2015 season. CSU shutout UMBC back-to-back games to open the season.
Charleston Southern hosts Towson tomorrow afternoon as the Wingate by Wyndham Invitational continues at the CSU Softball Field. First pitch on the Big South Network is set for 1 p.m.