Bucs topped by Toledo in extra innings

Bucs topped by Toledo in extra innings
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Charleston Southern battled with Toledo through eight innings, but fell to the Rockets, 7-6, in Friday's Coca-Cola Malihini Kipa Aloha tournament-opener.

The Buccaneers (9-10) were led by the bats of Brittany McPherson and Mallory Kasinger, with the duo connecting on back-to-back home runs in the CSU loss.  Cheyenne Gandara went the distance for the Bucs in the circle with seven strikeouts in the complete effort and Amanda Matsumoto broke CSU's program record with her 76th career stolen base.

Toledo (3-9) got on the board early with a solo home run from Chandler Rice to lead off the bottom of the first inning.  The Rockets added another run for the 2-0 lead heading into the second, but CSU responded with a disciplined offense at the plate.  The Bucs loaded the bases with two walks and a hit-by-pitch.  With two outs, Stephanie Bergmann stepped up big and knocked in two runs with a deep ball to left field.

After three scoreless innings on both sides, CSU opened the sixth with a double from Cheyenne Gandara.  McPherson gave the Bucs their first lead of the game with a home run over center field for her fifth home run this season.  Kasinger followed McPherson's lead and sent the second pitch she saw over right center to give CSU the 5-2 advantage and Matsumoto broke CSU softball's program record with her 76th career stolen base before the Bucs headed into the bottom of the sixth.

Rice came up big again for the Rockets with a double to left center to lead off.  Celeste Fidge put Toledo within one with a double to right center to knock in two runs.  Cheyenne Gandara got the Bucs out of the inning with her sixth strikeout of the game.

With the 5-4 lead, CSU was unable to add insurance in the top of the seventh as Toledo relief pitcher Kailey Minarchick set the side down in order.  Toledo loaded the bases with one out and brought the first run in on a walk.  CSU's defense stepped up big, getting the lead runner out at home on the next batter for two outs.  Cheyenne Gandara recorded the final out with her seventh strikeout of the contest.

Destini Ewing occupied second base for the Bucs as the international tiebreaker came into play in extra innings.  Minarchick once again retired three CSU batters and the game remained tied at 5-5 going into the bottom of the eighth.

Toledo executed a sacrifice bunt to move their runner to third base with one out.  Samantha Golden connected on a sacrifice fly to deep center field to launch the Rockets to the win in extra innings.

The Buccaneers now turn their attention to day two of the Coca-Cola Malihini Kipa Aloha tournament as they take on Seattle and Hawaii.  First pitch between CSU and Seattle is set for 3:00 p.m. (EST).