CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern continues to boast one of the NCAA's top offenses heading into the second week of conference play as the Bucs boast multiple players among the NCAA and Big South leaders nearing the final weekend in March.
The Bucs sit in the top 30 in four different offensive team categories and have players ranked in the top 30 in 10 different individual categories following the conclusion of the first weekend of Big South conference action.
CSU's early season power surge continues to pace the Buccaneers' offense this season. The Big South leader with 36 home runs, CSU is 10th in the nation in home runs per game at 1.20. The power bats' effectiveness has also led to CSU ranking 18th in slugging percentage (0.495).
Speed has also been a major factor for the Bucs in 2018 with two players ranked among the top three in the Big South in stolen bases on the year. As a team, CSU is 29th in the NCAA with 1.87 stolen bases per game. The blend of speed and power has led to CSU sitting 30th overall in scoring per game at 5.67 runs per contest.
Junior slugger Jade Gandara has been a force at the plate for the Bucs and her contributions have her dotted in multiple NCAA individual categories on the year. Gandara is seventh in the NCAA in RBI (36) and ninth in the country in total bases (80). She is 10th overall in home runs (11), 18th in home runs per game (0.37), 22nd in RBI per game (1.20), 25th in total hits (40), and 30th in slugging percentage (0.842).
Fellow junior utility player Caitlyn Emberson has been effective in the leadoff spot at the top of head coach Shane Winkler's lineup. Emberson is 19th in the NCAA in hit by pitches per game at 0.37 and 22nd in the NCAA in walks per game at 0.73.
Sophomore utility player Mallory Kasinger is also among the NCAA's leading sluggers sitting 31st in the nation in total home runs with eight. Freshman speedster Meghan Gagliano is 37th in the NCAA in stolen bases per game with 0.60.
Along with sitting among the NCAA leaders, CSU's bats are also in the top three in the Big South in multiple categories. CSU is third in batting average (.294), leads in slugging percentage, third in on-base percentage (.378), second in runs scored (170), second in hits (226), second in RBI (151), third in doubles (38), first in home runs, second in total bases (380), and second in stolen bases (56).
Gandara's success at the plate also has her in the individual leaderboard in multiple categories. The Hemet, Calif. native is third in slugging percentage, second in hits, second in RBI, third in home runs, and second in total bases. Emberson leads the conference in walks and is second in hit-by-pitches. Freshmen Meghan Gagliano (15) is tied for the conference lead in stolen bases, while Kendall Anderson is third with 14 steals on the year.
CSU's pitching staff has been among the conference's best in strikeouts on the season. The Bucs are second overall in total strikeouts (119), while leading the Big South in strikeouts looking at 43.