Christian slugs Bucs past Coastal Carolina, 8-5, in series finale

Marci Christian homered twice and drove in seven runs, while Jennifer Giles hurled a complete game as Charleston Southern topped Coastal Carolina, 8-5, Wednesday in the Buccaneers’ home regular-season finale.

Christian went 3-for-4 from the plate with a grand slam in the bottom of the third inning to put the Bucs ahead early. She came through in the clutch late with the score tied 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth with a three-run shot to straightaway center for her 23rd home run of the season as the Bucs picked up their 22nd home win of the season.

In a rematch between the two teams that have played for two of the past three Big South Conference Championships, the Bucs rode the hot bat of Christian and the steady pitching of Giles to the series win.

“You know every time you play Coastal, you’re playing for something,” said CSU head coach Shane Winkler. “That is the best team in the Big South year in, year out. Usually we see them in the tournament and that is our goal. If we end up playing them again, that means we are playing late in the bracket. They are a good team and we did really well to win a series against a good team like that.”

Giles’ (13-13) pitching helped carry the day for the Buccaneers as the senior right-hander, making her third appearance and second start of the series, went the distance in pitching around a rocky sixth inning to close out the contest by setting the Chants down in order in the seventh for the win. The appearance inside the circle, the 148th of her career in a CSU uniform, set a new Bucs’ career record, surpassing Amanda Noble’s (2004-07) record of 147.