CHARLESTON, S.C. - For the second time in as many games Ansley Gilreath came through in the clutch for visiting Winthrop as Charleston Southern fell to the Eagles in the regular season finale at the CSU Softball Field, 4-2.
Gilreath's go-ahead two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning was reminiscent of her go-ahead blast in last night's eighth-inning affair as the Buccaneers (18-35, 12-12 Big South) surrendered the lead in the frame. The Bucs mounted a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, but CSU was unable to overcome clutch Winthrop (26-23, 14-10 Big South) pitching as the rally fell short.
The Bucs looked to take control early in the contest thanks to a pair of RBI singles by Annie Bakenhus and Jade Gandara in the third. Bakenhus paced CSU with a pair of singles in the game, while Erika Cooper and Brooklynn Brewington added base hits for the Bucs' offense.
Blake Wallert led Winthrop's offense with a three-hit day, while Madyson Watson recorded two hits in addition to pitching three innings in the circle.
Holly Clark (7-13) suffered the loss in the circle for the Bucs after going 6.1 innings and allowing seven hits and four runs, while striking out two. Arizona Pilgrim closed out the game with the final two outs.
Kiley Majette (8-13) picked up the win after hurling four innings of two-hit relief. The senior left-hander struck out four in support of Watson's starting effort.
How They Scored/Key Situations
- Keleigh Romine brought home the first run of the game with an RBI grounder scoring Wallert in the top of the first.
- The Bucs took advantage of a pair of two-out singles in the third inning to take the lead.
- Annie Bakenhus drove in the first run with an RBI single to right field scoring Christi Takac to tie the game up at 1-1.
- Two batters later, Jade Gandara connected on an RBI single back up the middle scoring Annie Bakenhus and putting the Bucs ahead.
- Both pitching staffs kept the game moving through the middle innings until the pivotal seventh frame.
- Watson drew a leadoff walk to open the seventh inning before Gilreath came through with a two-run shot over the right center field fence to put Winthrop ahead 3-2.
- Later in the frame, Morgan Lowers connected on a sacrifice fly to centerfield scoring Taylor Charlton, but the Bucs defense was able to take advantage of Wallert's snafu on the base paths to record the final out of the inning.
- Destini Ewing and Annie Bakenhus connected on back-to-back two-out singles in the bottom of the inning, but Majette was able to get Brewington to strikeout swinging to end the contest.
Charleston Southern is back in action for the first round of the 2019 Big South Softball Championships starting on Wednesday, May 8, at Amanda Littlejohn Stadium on the campus of Campbell University. The Bucs' first round opponent is still to be determined and will be announced later in the weekend.