Offense Powers Coastal Past Lafayette In Thursday's Doubleheader; Improve to 6-1
CONWAY - On Thursday at CCU Softball Stadium, Coastal Carolina overmatched the Lafayette Leopards to start the Battle at the Beach tournament as the Chanticleers offense came alive to sweep both halves of the doubleheader and improve to 6-1. Mackenzie Budinger was the evening's star as the sophomore infielder connected for three home runs in three consecutive at-bats totaling 7 RBI which is a Chanticleers program record.
Junior Ashley Guillette ran into trouble in the first inning as she allowed the first three batters to get aboard, eventually, all three came around to score later in the inning. Leopard Brooke Wensel got the biggest hit of the inning as she singled to bring in two.
The Chants were able to answer with two of their own in the bottom of half of the first when freshman Samantha Sack doubled to right centerfield to bring in Kailey Mellen and Stavi Augur. Coastal took control of the game in the bottom of the second as they loaded the bases. Augur came up with an RBI single and the next batter, senior Timi Tooley doubled off the left field fence to bring in two more Chant base runners and take a 6-3 after two innings.
After a shaky start, Guillette settled down to pitch three innings of shutout softball to pick up her third win of the season. Sophomore Taylor Schmidt in her first appearance of the year pitched the final three innings of the game to earn her first save of the season.
In the second game of the day, it was the Coastal offense that shined in the 11-1 win. Not to be overshadowed was Kaitlin Beasley-Polko picking up her third consecutive complete game to start off her collegiate career.
In the bottom of the second, junior Natalie David worked her way onto first base with a walk and then Budinger hit her first her career home run. Two batters later, senior Kailey Mellen connected for her second home run of the season to give the Chants a 3-0 lead after two innings.
Coastal scored five runs in the bottom of the third as freshman Taylor Sweigart connected on her second home run (second of her career) of the evening over the right-centerfield fence. Budinger and Mellen also connected in the third for the second time in as many as innings.
Sack led-off the bottom of the fourth with a double down the right-field line off. Two batters later with runners on first and second, Budinger finished off the Leopards with her third and final homer of the evening.
In game two, the Chants five home runs tied for third all-time (2010 at Houston Baptist).
The Chanticleers return to action Friday afternoon as they take on Kent State at 2:00 p.m. and then Rider at 4:30 p.m.