CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern rallied back with an eight-run bottom of the sixth as the Buccaneers took the series finale against Gardner-Webb on Saturday afternoon with the 10-3 win.
CSU (17-33, 11-10 Big South) assured itself of a berth in the 2019 Big South Conference Championships to be held on May 8-11 in Buies Creek, N.C. on the campus of Campbell University with the win. The Bucs entered the weekend needing a victory and with their win over Gardner-Webb (28-23, 7-14 Big South), CSU assured itself of finishing no worse than sixth in the regular season standings.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Madison Koger broke the game open with a two-run double to give CSU its first lead of the weekend. Caitlyn Emberson added a three-run home run later in the inning to cap the Bucs' scoring efforts in the game.
Holly Clark (6-12) went the distance for her third complete game of the season as the junior right-hander bounced back from a tough start. Clark surrendered three runs in the first inning but allowed just four hits the rest of the way while striking out seven.
Brooke Perry (17-11) suffered the loss after going 5.0 innings and allowing nine hits and seven runs (five earned). Reah Barger allowed three runs in one inning of relief.
Brooklynn Brewington recorded her second consecutive three-hit game, while Jade Gandara and Emberson had three RBI apiece in the win. Eight of CSU's nine starters connected on hits in the game, while all nine starters reached base.
Autumn Owen had a 3-for-4 effort at the plate and added an RBI in the loss.
How They Scored/Key Situations
- Gardner-Webb scored three runs in the top of the first inning to take the early lead as the Runnin' Bulldogs took advantage of Weslyn Almond's RBI double, while Owen and Jenna Wacaster both had RBI singles in the inning.
- Jade Gandara put the Bucs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning as the senior designated player connected on a two-out bases-loaded single up the middle scoring Annie Bakenhus and Rhiana Hubbard to cut the lead down to 3-2.
- CSU's defense took control in the middle of the game as both middle infielders were key to double plays in the fourth and fifth innings.
- Brooklynn Brewington collected the grounder up the middle, stepped on second, and relayed to first to end the fourth inning.
- Madison Koger caught the popup and tagged out the GWU runner in the fifth to highlight CSU's defensive efforts.
- The first nine CSU batters reached base in the sixth inning as the Buccaneers plated eight runs in the frame to take the 10-3 lead.
- Sarah Brown scored the first run on a GWU throwing error to tie the game up at 3-3, before Koger's double short-hopped the wall in left center scoring Hubbard and Summer Moore to give CSU the lead.
- SeaEnna Satcher and Jade Gandara both added run-scoring singles later in the frame before Emberson's three-run shot off Barger cleared the fence in right center to put CSU ahead 10-3.
- Clark pitched around a two-out error to close out her sixth win of the season and third complete game.
News & Notes
- Caitlyn Emberson's three-run shot in the sixth inning was her seventh home run of the season and 34th of her career, moving her two behind Jana Matthews (36, 2010-13) for third all-time in CSU history.
- Jade Gandara's pair of hits in the game moved her into fourth all-time in CSU's hit list with 207.
- Eight of CSU's nine starters on Saturday scored, while Christi Takac came in to run and scored in place of Satcher in the sixth inning.
- Holly Clark's 21st career win moved her into 12th all-time in CSU's all-time wins list.
- The Bucs are 3-4 in Big South series this season, but CSU has yet to be swept on the year as CSU has won one game against Campbell, USC Upstate, and Longwood.
- The Bucs (11-10) can finish no worse than sixth in the Big South standings following Saturday's win as Gardner-Webb is unable to surpass the Bucs with one series to play.
- Charleston Southern has a chance to finish with a winning record in conference play for the first time since 2012 when the Bucs went 12-9 in the Big South.
Charleston Southern takes a week off for exams, before wrapping up the regular season on May 2-3 with a Big South series against Winthrop.