BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - Charleston Southern fell in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader against Gardner-Webb, while the second game was suspended due to rainfall as the Buccaneer continued Big South play against the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Rachel Cumiskey connected on a key grand slam in the bottom of the second inning in the first game to pace the Runnin' Bulldogs (21-17, 5-5) to the conference win. CSU (24-18, 5-5) held the 7-0 lead in game two before play was called.
Game One: Gardner-Webb 9, Charleston Southern 4
Gardner-Webb plated seven runs in the bottom of the second inning paced by Cumiskey's grand slam to take the opening win in the teams' ESPN3 matchup.
Charleston Southern rallied back with a pair of runs in both the top of the fifth and sixth innings, but the Bucs were unable to close the gap in the Big South loss.
Jade Gandara (2-for-3), Sarah Brown (3-for-4), and Annie Bakenhus (2-for-3) helped pace CSU's offense in the contest with the trio combining for four RBI and three of the four CSU runs scored in the contest. Madison Koger added the final run scored in the loss.
Gardner-Webb took the early 7-0 lead after a scoreless first inning. The Runnin' Bulldogs took advantage of Katie Stettler's three-run double and Cumiskey's grand slam over the left field wall to take the seven-run advantage.
The Bucs took two back in the top of the fifth behind doubles by Bakenhus, Gandara, and Brown. Bakenhus led off the inning with a double that short-hopped the centerfield wall. Gandara followed two batters later with a double down the left field line scoring Bakenhus for the Bucs' first run of the game. Brown added a double down the line two batters later scoring Gandara to cut the lead down to 7-2.
Weslyn Almond added a run for GWU in the bottom of the frame. Almond drew a one-out walk before stealing second. On her stolen base attempt, the throw bounced into the outfield deep enough for Almond to score without a throw to expand the lead to 8-2.
Gandara plated two more for the Bucs in the top of the sixth. CSU loaded the bases with two outs as walks issued to Madison Koger and Caitlyn Emberson sandwiched a Bakenhus single. Gandara followed with a base hit through the left side of the infield scoring Koger and Bakenhus to halve the GWU lead.
Stettler provided the final run of the contest with a leadoff solo home run to left field in the bottom of the sixth.
Arizona Pilgrim (8-8) suffered the loss in the circle after going the first two innings. The junior allowed three hits and seven runs while walking five. Nicole Ayala went 3.2 innings in relief with the senior also making a standout catch in right field in the bottom of the sixth inning. Holly Clark added 0.1 innings in relief.
Ashley Wark (13-10) picked up the win after going the first 5.2 innings and allowing eight hits and four runs while striking out one.
Game Two: Charleston Southern 7, Gardner-Webb 0 (3 inn. Suspended)
Charleston Southern sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning highlighted by Jade Gandara and Mallory Kasinger back-to-back home runs as the Buccaneers jumped out to the early lead over the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Play was suspended in the top of the third inning following rainfall at Brinkley Stadium. The game will be concluded on Sunday afternoon with first pitch set for 2 p.m.
News & Notes
- Caitlyn Emberson's on-base streak reached 22 consecutive games following her pair of walks in the opening game of the day, and then added an RBI single in the first inning of game two.
- Mallory Kasinger's on-base streak reached a career-high 17 consecutive games following her walk in game one, and then her solo home run in game two.
- Nicole Ayala had the opportunity to showcase her skillset all over the field in the first game of the day. The senior pitcher went three innings in relief before starting the sixth inning in right field. After making a spectacular catch in the frame, she reentered the circle and struck out the final two batters she faced to close out the GWU at-bat.
- Jade Gandara and Mallory Kasinger's back-to-back home runs in the top of the first in game two marked the sixth time CSU has connected on back-to-back shots in 2018.
Charleston Southern and Gardner-Webb will conclude the second game of the series tomorrow afternoon with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. The weekend series finale is slated to start about 30 minutes following the final pitch in game two.