SB Preview: Bucs back on the road to close out series with Presbyterian

SB Preview: Bucs back on the road to close out series with Presbyterian

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern softball looks to continue its winning ways as the Buccaneers head back to Clinton, S.C. for a midweek contest against Presbyterian College. First pitch in the Wednesday afternoon matchup is set for 3 p.m. at the PC Softball Complex.

CSU (12-27, 6-5 Big South) is looking for its first conference sweep of the season after taking the first two games against the Blue Hose this past Wednesday. Strong pitching and key hitting paced the Buccaneers to a pair of shutout wins over PC with CSU taking the 7-0 and 1-0 wins.

Presbyterian (10-28-2, 0-11 Big South) enters the Wednesday game on an eight-game losing streak having dropped conference series to Hampton and Radford, as well as their pair of games against CSU.

In the first game against Presbyterian, Charleston Southern pounded out 11 hits, while senior right-hander Arizona Pilgrim went five shutout innings to pace the Buccaneers to the 7-0 win.

Annie Bakenhus singled in Meghan Gagliano in the top of the third inning, while Summer Moore added a two-run triple late as all nine CSU batters in the lineup reached base in the first game. Bakenhus, Jade Gandara, and Moore all had two hits apiece, while Gandara and Moore added doubles in the game.

Helped by the run support, Pilgrim surrendered just two singles while striking out four through five innings' work. Alyssa Heinrich closed out the game surrendering just a single over the final two innings.

Sarah Brown scored the lone run of the game in the top of the second inning in the second game, while strong pitching by Holly Clark and Pilgrim helped the Bucs hold off the Blue Hose in the second contest.

Caitlyn Emberson and Brown picked up both of CSU's hits late in the game as PC starter Taylor Ward carried a no-hitter through the first four innings. However, the Bucs took advantage of a trio of PC errors in the contest with Brown scoring on a throwing error to put CSU on the board.

Clark went the first 4.1 innings allowing just three hits and four strikeouts in the win. The junior right-hander pitched around four walks before turning the ball over to Pilgrim in the fifth. The senior right-hander went the final 2.2 innings striking out two to pick up her first save of the season.

Bakenhus continues to lead the Bucs' offense with a .325 batting average with a team-high 40 hits and 21 runs scored while posting six stolen bases. Sarah Brown (.306) and Jade Gandara (.304) are also hitting above .300 on the season with Gandara's eight doubles tying for the team lead with Bakenhus. Brown leads the team's stolen base efforts with 10 of CSU's 31 thefts of the season.

Pilgrim leads CSU's pitching efforts with 31 appearances and 20 starts on the year. The senior ace has eight complete games with 137.1 innings' pitched while posting a team-best 3.77 ERA. Clark has made 25 appearances with 14 starts on the year.

Presbyterian is searching for their first Big South win of the season with the Blue Hose paced by Ansley Wilbanks' .374 batting average. Jonnie Petree (.356) and Chelsea Lyons (.340) are also hitting above .300 on the year with Petree's 25 stolen bases pacing the team on the base paths.

Alyssa Batastini leads the team's pitching efforts with a 4.22 ERA in 28 appearances and 24 starts. Taylor Ward has also seen action with 25 appearances and 16 starts.

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