Feb. 15, 2014
CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina softball team swept its two games in the Kickin' Chicken Classic on Saturday, notching a 6-2 victory over Towson and following it with a 9-1 five-inning win over Virginia at Coastal Carolina Softball Stadium.
Improving to 5-1 on the season, the Chanticleers are off to their best start through six games since 2003 when they began that year 11-1.
Kiana Quolas and Ashley Bagwell each came back from allowing early runs to turn in strong starts and notch the wins in the circle, while seven different Chants drove in at least one run on the day and nine scored at least once.
In the Towson win, Kory Hayden hit her fifth homer of the year - a three-run shot in the third inning that put Coastal up 3-1. Bri Chiusano walked to lead off the frame and Quolas reached on a fielder's choice. Hayden then blasted a 2-1 pitch over the centerfield fence for 35th homer of her career. She is now just two away from tying Sarah Lockett for second all-time in program history.
Towson (4-2) cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fourth, but the Chanticleers scored three more times in the fifth to build the four-run cushion. Chiusano again reached to start the inning with an infield single, stole second and scored on an error. Amanda Daneker and Morgan Noad then followed with back-to-back RBI doubles to make it 6-2. Daneker had her third multiple-hit game of the year, going 2 for 3.
Quolas (4-0) finished it off in the circle, retiring eight of the last nine Towson hitters. She allowed one earned run on six hits, struck out six and walked one for the 50th victory of her career.
Also in the game, Courtney Howell singled while leading off the sixth inning for her first career hit.
The Chants fell behind 1-0 in the first inning again against Virginia (1-6), but answered with two of their own in the bottom of the inning, added two more in both the second and fourth and put it away with three runs in the fifth.
Bagwell picked up her first win of the year, giving up four hits - just two after the opening frame - while striking out three and walking one. She set down 12 of her last 14 Cavalier batters.
Quolas went 2 for 3 with two doubles and three RBIs, while Noad added two hits. Chiusano had a hit and a run scored and now has hits in all six games while scoring at least once in five of them.
Chiusano's infield single started the first. She then stole second and scored on consecutive groundouts. After Daneker walked, Noad put Coastal ahead 2-1 with an RBI double to rightcenter.
In the second, Jessie Winans drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on an error. Quolas added another RBI double to rightcenter to make it 4-1. Quolas tacked on a two-run double in the sixth plating Maicie Hahn and Beth Kassuhn, who had both walked.
Coastal then used three more hits, a walk and a fielder's choice to end the game in the fifth. Noad led off with a single, Brooke Donovan walked and Winans hit an RBI single to center. After a wild pitch moved the runners up a base, Desiree Zaragoza singled through the left side to drive in one run and Jessie Winans scored on a fielder's choice to end it.
The Chanticleers return to action next weekend when they travel to Gainesville, Fla. for the Lipton Invitational. They will face Georgia Southern and Indiana on Friday's first day.
The Kickin' Chicken Classic concludes Sunday with two games beginning at 10 a.m. Purdue will face Towson in the opener, followed by Towson taking on Virginia.