Buccaneers take two from Jacksonville State and St. Bonaventure

Buccaneers take two from Jacksonville State and St. Bonaventure

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern went 2-0 on the day as Jessica Brock connected on a two-run blast in the first game to propel the Bucs to a 3-0 win over Jacksonville State, while Marci Christian drilled a three-run home run in game two in the CSU 6-0 win over St. Bonaventure as the Bucs swept the competition on the first day of the CSU Tournament.

The Buccaneers improved to 5-0-1 on the season with the pair of victories as the CSU pitching staff hurled a pair of shutouts, scattering 12 hits over the day while striking out 12, with Jennifer Giles and Morgan Dowdy picking up their first wins of the 2014 season on the rubber for head coach Shane Winkler.

Charleston Southern continues the weekend play tomorrow afternoon as the Buccaneers host St. Bonaventure at 1 p.m. The Bucs close out the Saturday contests with the late afternoon game against Jacksonville State projected to start at 3:30 p.m.

Game One: Charleston Southern 3, Jacksonville State 0

Jessica Brock connected on a two-run home run in the bottom of the first and Giles and Cheyenne Gandara combined to hurl a shutout as the Buccaneers opened the weekend with a 3-0 victory over the visiting Gamecocks.

After a scoreless top of the first inning, Marci Christian connected on a single to left field to give the Bucs their first runner of the game with one out. Brock worked a 1-2 count before lofting the Tiffany Harbin pitch over the fence in left centerfield to give CSU the early 2-0 lead.

The Gamecocks threatened the cut into the CSU lead with runners in scoring position in the second and the fourth innings, loading the bases in the top of the fourth inning with two outs as Giles battled with a bout of wildness. However, the CSU junior right-hander recovered to get an inning-ending fly ball to left field to end the frame and keep the shutout intact.

Charleston Southern extended their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning on Hayes Holdsworth's double to lead off the frame. A sacrifice bunt by Natalie Yonan advanced her over to third and Ari Tedesco followed two batters later with a base hit to left field to punch across the third Buccaneers run of the game.

Gandara entered the game for the Bucs in the top of the fifth, retiring four of the first six batters she faced on strikeouts to keep the Charleston Southern momentum going in the game, but CSU was unable to plate another insurance run to stretch out the lead and put the game out of reach.

In the top of the seventh, JSU battled back for the final time as Sara Borders reached on a one-out single up the middle. A base hit by Cadi Oliver put two runners on with two outs as the tying run came up to the plate, but Gandara escaped the jam as Savannah Sloan hit into a fielder's choice as the Bucs forced Oliver out at second to end the game with the Bucs closing out the 3-0 win.

Giles (1-0) went four innings in the start, scattering four hits and added a pair of strikeouts in picking up her first win of the season. Gandara, with her three innings of relief, struck out five in picking up her first collegiate save.

Harbin (1-2) went the distance for Jacksonville State, allowing three runs, two earned in the loss. She scattered six hits and added five strikeouts in the complete game effort.

Game Two: Charleston Southern 6, St. Bonaventure 0

Brock again had the big hit in the first inning and Christian connected on a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth to provide Dowdy all the support she needed as Charleston Southern closed out their second win of the day with the 6-0 victory over the Bonnies.

After Dowdy retired the side in the first inning, Christian reached on a single up the middle with one out to spark the CSU offense. She stole second as Brock worked a full count on SBU starter Kristen Hickling, before drilling a double up the middle to the right of the centerfield, bringing Christian home for the first run of the game. With Stevi Johnson in to run for Brock, Stephanie Bergmann sacrificed her over to third base before Holdsworth connected on a single up the middle for the second run of the frame to put the Bucs ahead 2-0.

A strong throw in the third inning by catcher Georgi DeLio cut down a stealing Kelly Farrell to end the St. Bonaventure threat in the frame as Dowdy went through an uneventful four innings, before the CSU bats broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning to put the game away.

Yonan drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the inning, before DeLio followed with a double off the fence down the right field line to put two in scoring position with none out. Brandy Galaviz brought in the first run of the inning, connecting on an RBI groundout to bring in Yonan. Two batters after an infield single by Matsumoto, Christian uncorked her second home run of the season with a towering blast over the fence in right centerfield to give CSU the commanding 6-0 lead with three innings to play.

Darden came in relief in the top of the fifth inning and set the Bonnies down in order in both the fifth and sixth innings to pull the Bucs within one inning of the second shutout on the day.

In the top of the seventh, St. Bonaventure showed a spark of life as Christine Watson led off with a single to right field, while Desiree Gonzalez followed with a double in the left centerfield gap to put two runners in scoring position with two outs. Darden recovered to get Lauren Waite to foul out down the right field line as Stephanie Sbardella tracked the ball for the final out to preserve the shutout and the win.

Dowdy (1-0) picked up her first win, allowing one hit and striking out five in four innings' action in the circle. Darden closed out her first save of the season in scattering three hits.