CHARLESTON, S.C. - Backed by strong performances by Annie Bakenhus and Alyssa Heinrich, Charleston Southern completed the Big South sweep over visiting Presbyterian on Saturday afternoon. The Bucs took the early contest, 6-3, and then followed up with the 7-0 win in the late contest to take both games of the doubleheader at the CSU Softball Field.
Bakenhus went 3-for-4 from the plate with her second home run of the season to pace the Buccaneers (21-17, 5-4) offense on the day. She added a trio of RBI and two runs scored to go with her 10th stolen base of the season to show off her well-rounded skill set on the field.
Alyssa Heinrich (6-1) needed just 73 pitches to complete her first shutout of the season in the day's second game. She added two innings of hitless relief in the opening game to record her first save of the season.
Game One: Charleston Southern 6, Presbyterian 3
Annie Bakenhus connected on a two-run home run in the bottom of the third to spark the CSU offense and added a late sacrifice fly to help the Bucs to the series-clinching win over the Blue Hose on Saturday afternoon.
Bakenhus' offense came in support of a tough start for Arizona Pilgrim as the junior right-hander went 3.2 innings allowing four hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out four. Emily Visnic (1-3) recorded her first collegiate win going 1.1 innings in relief allowing two hits and one run. Alyssa Heinrich (S, 1) recorded her first save after retiring all six batters she faced.
Sarah Ramsbottom (0-5) suffered the loss in the first game of the day after allowing six runs (three earned) on one hit, while walking three and striking out four. Camryn Alverson went the final 1.2 innings in relief, striking out three.
After the pitchers settled into a duel over the first two innings, the Bucs struck in the bottom of the third. Destini Ewing drew a leadoff walk to open the inning. Kendall Anderson entered to run and promptly stole second base. After getting sacrificed over on Madison Koger's bunt, Bakenhus followed with a drive over the fence in left centerfield to give CSU the 2-0 lead.
The Blue Hose responded in the top of the fourth with Lindsay Harris sparking the offense with a leadoff home run down the left field line. Presley Bissett came around to score on a wild pitch later in the inning before Visnic retired Macy Hyatt on a line drive to Koger at short.
Meghan Gagliano's speed led to CSU's third run of the contest as she entered the game to run on Mallory Kasinger's leadoff walk. After stealing second and advancing to third on Sarah Brown's bunt, Nina Del Rio's sacrifice fly to right field was deep enough for the fleet-footed freshman to score without a throw to put CSU ahead 3-2.
Bissett tied the game up in the top of the fifth with a two-out single through the left side scoring Alverson.
The Bucs took advantage of a pair of PC errors in the bottom half of the frame to pull away. Ewing led off the inning with a walk and came around to score when Koger's sacrifice bunt attempt was thrown down the first base line. Bakenhus followed with a sacrifice fly plating Koger to give CSU the 5-3 lead. Kasinger added a late RBI single scoring Emberson in the frame to provide the 6-3 margin.
Alyssa Heinrich entered and shut down the Blue Hose offense the rest of the way facing the minimum over the final two innings to secure the victory.
Game Two: Charleston Southern 7, Presbyterian 0
Jade Gandara and Madison Koger had two RBI apiece in support of Alyssa Heinrich's complete game shutout as the Buccaneers completed the Big South sweep over the Blue Hose.
Heinrich surrendered just a leadoff bunt single in the fifth inning on her way to her first collegiate shutout with the Bucs. Heinrich struck out three and faced just two batters over the minimum in the victory.
Alex Cook (0-9) suffered the loss on the afternoon after going 4.0 innings and allowing six hits and six runs while striking out four. Camryn Alverson closed out the contest going the final two innings in relief.
The Bucs took advantage of a brief bout of wildness to plate the first run of the game. Koger led off the inning with a base hit up the middle. She stole second and advanced to third on Meghan Gagliano's grounder to the circle. Koger crossed the plate on a wild pitch to put CSU ahead 1-0.
Koger added two more runs in the fourth as the freshman shortstop came through with the two-out two-run single. Kendall Anderson and Destini Ewing both scored on the single stretching the CSU lead to 3-0.
CSU sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fifth with all 10 reaching base in the frame to put the Bucs ahead 7-0. Jade Gandara brought home the first two runs in the inning with a double to left center scoring Bakenhus and Caitlyn Emberson. Kasinger's single to right field scored Gandara, while Kasinger scored on a throwing error on Nina Del Rio's sacrifice bunt.
The Blue Hose kept the game alive with a trio of fielder's choices to close out the inning.
Heinrich retired the final nine PC batters in order, while Alverson kept the Bucs off the scoreboard in the sixth to provide the final margin.
News & Notes
- Charleston Southern closed out the weekend with 13 stolen bases on the weekend with seven different players recording a stolen base. Kendall Anderson paced the efforts with a pair of steals today, while Annie Bakenhus recorded her 10th stolen base of the season.
- Alyssa Heinrich's shutout was CSU's first shutout since March 7 and the Bucs' seventh of the season. It was also her first collegiate complete game.
- Annie Bakenhus' home run was her second of the season and first since she connected on a shot on February 25 against Hartford.
- It was CSU's first conference sweep since the Bucs took all three games on the road last season at Campbell on May 5-6.
- It was the Bucs' first home conference sweep since CSU took a trio of games against Presbyterian in the 2009 season from March 27-28.
Charleston Southern remains at home this week as the Bucs host College of Charleston on Tuesday afternoon at the CSU Softball Field. First pitch between the Bucs and the Cougars is set for 4 p.m.