CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern's first eight batters reached base and scored as the Buccaneers' offense exploded with a 10-run first inning on their way to topping Towson, 15-4, on the third day of the Wingate by Wyndham Invitational.
Mallory Kasinger connected on a double and home run on her way to driving in five runs, while Caitlyn Emberson reached base on all four plate appearances to power a CSU offense that hit .611 (11-for-18) with runners in scoring position and .429 (3-for-7) with two outs in the contest. Sarah Brown, Jade Gandara, and Destini Ewing also drove in multiple RBI in the contest as the Bucs rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to pick up their third win of the weekend.
CSU improves to 3-1 overall with the victory over the Tigers. Alyssa Heinrich (2-0) added her second victory in the circle in relief. The freshman retired the first seven batters she faced on her way to closing out the final three innings, allowing three hits and a run while striking out three.
Holly Clark had the start in the circle for the Bucs, allowing three hits and three runs (two earned) while striking out two in the contest. Julia Smith-Harrington (0-1) suffered the loss for Towson (3-1) after allowing the first six runners to reach base and score.
Brook Miko put the Tigers on the board to open the contest as the cleanup hitter connected on a three-run home run in the top of the first inning. She cleared the bases following Madison Wilson's leadoff single and Olivia Baltazar reaching on an error.
The Bucs responded in the bottom half of the frame with their first double-digit scoring inning since the 2015 season. Kasinger opened the CSU scoring with an RBI double down the left field line. Annie Bakenhus and Brown added a pair of RBI singles, while Ewing brought in two more with a double to left center.
Gandara got into the action with an RBI knock in her second at-bat, while Kasinger's sacrifice fly makes it 8-3 with two outs in the frame. Brown pushed across the final two runs of the inning with a two-run single to put the score at 10-3 after the first inning.
Gandara put CSU back in the scoring column with a bases-loaded RBI groundout scoring Ewing to put the Bucs ahead 11-3. Kasinger followed with a three-run home run to clear the base and put the Bucs ahead 14-3.
The Bucs added another run in the bottom of the fourth as Gandara singled in Taylor Gleason.
Towson plated a late run off Heinrich in the top of the fifth as Daria Edwards singled in Madison Wilson with one out in the frame.
News & Notes
- Caitlyn Emberson scored a season-high three runs in the contest while reaching base in all four plate appearances. The junior first baseman drew two walks, was hit by a pitch and doubled.
- Mallory Kasinger's double and home run gave her a team-leading three extra-base hits on the season.
- Alyssa Heinrich retired 18 consecutive batters spanning the last two games prior to surrendering a single to Madison Wilson with one out in the fifth.
- Multiple players recorded their first hits of the season in the contest for the Bucs. Destini Ewing, Sarah Brown, Taylor Gleason, and Christi Takac all connected on their first hits of the season as a part of a 15-hit explosion for the CSU lineup.
- Jade Gandara extended her hitting streak to 10 consecutive games after going 3-for-4 from the plate on the day. She is currently hitting a team-best .769 (10-for-13) from the plate on the season.
- Emberson led the NCAA with 28 hit-by-pitches in the 2017 season. She is once again one of the nation's leaders following the first four games of the season as she was plunked by her fourth pitch of the weekend.
- CSU scored 10 runs or more for in an inning for the first time since the 2015 season when the Bucs scored 11 in the opening inning at Radford on March 29.
Charleston Southern hosts North Carolina A&T tomorrow afternoon for the final game of the Wingate by Wyndham Invitational. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. on the Big South Network.