Buccaneers sweep Hampton on Saturday; Stretch season-best winning streak to six games

Buccaneers sweep Hampton on Saturday; Stretch season-best winning streak to six games

HAMPTON, Va. - Timely hitting and standout pitching performances by both Arizona Pilgrim and Holly Clark pushed Charleston Southern past host Hampton in a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. The Bucs topped the Pirates 2-1 in the opener, and added a 5-0 win in the afternoon game to claim the season series against Hampton.

CSU (15-27, 9-5 Big South) stretched its winning streak to six games as the Buccaneers utilized a Jade Gandara two-run home run in the first game against the Pirates, while Annie Bakenhus' three-run double in the second game paced CSU offensively in the afternoon game.

Pilgrim and Clark both hurled complete games in the circle to keep the Bucs in the mix in Big South postseason contention with 10 games to play. Hampton (18-13, 3-8 Big South) fell into a tie with Gardner-Webb for seventh in the current standings.

Game One: Charleston Southern 2, Hampton 1
Jade Gandara connected on a two-run home run in the top of the first and Arizona Pilgrim went the distance in a complete-game four hitter as Charleston Southern topped Hampton in the series opener on Saturday, 2-1.

Gandara's two-run shot was her second of the season and 39th of her career to pace the Bucs offensively. The senior designated player had two of CSU's eight hits in the game, while freshman Brooklynn Brewington was active on the base paths with a stolen base in the contest.

The offensive performances came in support of a dominant performance in the circle by senior right-hander Pilgrim (9-15) as the Taft, Calif. native made her 14th consecutive appearance. Pilgrim faced four batters over the minimum and struck out three in her ninth complete game of the season.

The Bucs jumped on Hampton starter Allyson Babinsack (5-5) early as CSU put together eight hits against the redshirt senior. She went the distance in a complete-game effort and added two strikeouts in the loss.

Taylor Warrick and Morgan Crawford connected on doubles for Hampton's two extra-base hits in the game.

How They Scored

  • Following Brewington's one-out single and stolen base, Gandara connected on the 2-1 offering from Babinsack for a two-run shot over the right field fence in the top of the first inning to put the Bucs in the lead.
  • Crawford and Warrick connected on doubles in the bottom of the third inning, with Warrick's two-bagger bringing home Crawford with one-out in the inning to provide the final run of the contest.

Game Two: Charleston Southern 5, Hampton 0

Annie Bakenhus broke open a scoreless tie with a bases-clearing double in the top of the sixth inning and Rhiana Hubbard connected on her fourth home run of the season to pace the Buccaneers to the doubleheader sweep over Hampton on Saturday afternoon.

After back-to-back errors loaded the bases with one out, Bakenhus delivered a double to center field scoring Meghan Gagliano, Destini Ewing, and Sarah Brown to provide all the support junior right-hander Holly Clark (5-9) needed in the complete-game shutout.

Bakenhus went 2-for-4 from the plate to lead CSU's hitting efforts, while Madison Koger added a double. Hubbard's solo home run in the top of the seventh provided the final insurance run for the Bucs.

Clark surrendered five hits while striking out six in the complete game effort. The junior carried a no-hitter into the third inning and allowed only three runners in scoring position in the contest.

Morgan Crawford and Brianna Anderson both doubled for Hampton in the contest to pace the Pirates' offense. Allie Hotetz (8-6) suffered the loss in the complete game effort in the circle.

How They Scored

  • Clark pitched her way out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the third inning to keep the shutout intact as the junior right-hander retired Anderson on strikes.
  • The Bucs broke through the scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning courtesy of a pair of Hampton errors as Bakenhus drilled the 1-0 pitch from Hotetz to center field allowing all three runners on base to score and give CSU the 3-0 lead.
  • Two batters later, Jade Gandara's RBI groundout brought home Bakenhus to put the Buccaneers ahead 4-0.
  • Hubbard's solo home run in the top of the seventh provided the final margin as the freshman centerfielder connected on the 3-2 pitch and drove it over the right field fence.

News & Notes

  • Jade Gandara's two-run home run in the top of the first inning in the first game was her second home run of the season and 39th of her CSU career. It was her first home run since February 15 against Detroit Mercy and her 12th extra-base hit of the season.
  • Annie Bakenhus' double in the second game was her team-leading ninth two-bagger of the year, while her RBI total rose to 18 on the season.
  • Arizona Pilgrim's appearance streak was snapped in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader as the senior right-hander had appeared in the circle in each of the last 14 games dating back to March 12 against N.C. State.
  • CSU's winning streak reached six consecutive games – it's the longest winning streak for the Bucs dating back to their eight-game winning streak last season from February 18-28, 2018.
  • CSU's six consecutive wins in Big South play is the Bucs' longest conference winning streak in program history according to the current record books.
  • A win on Sunday would mark the first time the Bucs have swept back-to-back conference opponents in program history.
  • CSU's pair of wins keeps the Bucs firmly entrenched among the conference's top echelon of teams as the Bucs are currently third in the standings trailing Longwood (10-1) and USC Upstate (10-4).

Up Next
Charleston Southern continues the weekend series on Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. first pitch at the Lady Pirate Softball Field against Hampton.

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