SB Preview: Bucs welcome N.C. State on Tuesday to start homestand

SB Preview: Bucs welcome N.C. State on Tuesday to start homestand

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern softball is back on the CSU Softball Field this week as the Buccaneers begin a seven-game homestand on Tuesday afternoon against North Carolina State. First pitch between the Bucs and the Wolfpack is set for 4 p.m.

CSU (6-21) has already taken on the Wolfpack earlier this season as the Buccaneers battled N.C. State at the Dail Softball Field in Raleigh, N.C. on March 2. The game was featured as a part of the Duke/N.C. State Invitational with the Bucs taking on Ohio (twice), Duke, Kansas, and N.C. State over the three-day weekend tournament.

 The Buccaneers fell in their first matchup against N.C. State (15-8) as CSU was unable to overcome an early deficit against the Wolfpack in the 6-0 loss. Brigette Nordberg connected on an early three-run home run to pace the Wolfpack in the first matchup, while Sydney Nester went the distance in the complete game three-hitter.

Annie Bakenhus, Brooklynn Brewington, and Nina Del Rio were CSU's offensive leaders in the first go-round against N.C. State with the trio all stringing together hits. Arizona Pilgrim and Alyssa Heinrich combined in the circle for the Bucs in the loss.

The Buccaneers concluded tournament play this past weekend with a 1-3 record at the JU/UNF Spring Break Challenge. CSU picked up the 5-4 win over Cleveland State in the tournament opener on their way to recording Head Coach Venus Taylor's 200th career coaching win.

Annie Bakenhus continues to lead Charleston Southern's offense on the season. The senior outfielder sits among the Big South leaders in runs scored (4th), hits (3rd), doubles (2nd), and total bases (7th), while also leading CSU in batting average. Bakenhus' totals include a .354 average with 29 hits and eight doubles on the season.

Caitlyn Emberson is the Bucs' power leader early in the year with a team-high three home runs and 16 RBI. She also sits among the Big South leaders with 13 walks and seven hit-by-pitches. Jade Gandara made her way back into the lineup last weekend and sits among the team leaders with four doubles and 13 RBI on the year.

Arizona Pilgrim and Holly Clark have combined for 37 appearances and 22 starts this season with the duo pitching 138.2 of the Bucs' 169.1 innings pitched on the year. Pilgrim leads the Bucs with a 4.44 ERA with 66 strikeouts, while Clark has a pair of wins and a complete game this season.

N.C. State recently finished up their tournament season as well as the Wolfpack are in their final game prior to entering Atlantic Coast Conference play. N.C. State posted four wins this past weekend in the College of Charleston tournament with wins over Marist, Bryant, CofC, and Youngstown State.

For the season, N.C. State is currently 3-0 against Big South opponents on the season with wins over CSU and Campbell – both coming in the Duke/N.C. State Invitational. The Wolfpack topped Campbell twice (8-0 and 9-1) at the Dail Softball Field this season.

Bridgette Nordberg leads N.C. State with a .388 batting average to go with a team0high 26 hits, 20 runs scored, and 12 home runs. She also paces N.C. State with 30 RBI.

Sam Russ is also among the team hitting leaders with a .297 batting average with two home runs and 13 stolen bases. Logan Morris adds five home runs and 12 RBI.

Sydney Nester and Devin Wallace are both the pitching leaders in the circle for N.C. State. Nester leads the Wolfpack with a 1.42 ERA and an 8-2 record to go with an 85:34 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Wallace boasts a 1.61 ERA and a 6-5 record to go with a 77:22 ratio.

The Buccaneers continue their homestand with three-game series against Radford (March 15-16) and USC Upstate (March 19-20).

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