March 23, 2014
CONWAY - In the finale of a 20-game homestand, the Coastal Carolina softball team finished off a three-game sweep of Gardner-Webb with an 8-1 victory over the Runnin' Bulldogs on Sunday at Coastal Carolina Softball Stadium.
Amanda Daneker hit a grand slam for the first home run of her career to break the game open as the Chanticleers rolled to their third straight convincing victory. Coastal (20-9, 3-0) outscored Gardner-Webb 23-1 in the three games and swept its Big South Conference opening series for the third straight season.
Daneker, Morgan Noad and Kiana Quolas each totaled two of the Chants' 10 hits and Bri Chiusano scored three runs, while Quolas notched another complete-game victory in the circle. She allowed five hits, struck out seven and walked one.
Quolas pitched out of trouble in the top of the third, stranding a runner on third with one out with a strikeout and a foulout with Kory Hayden making the grab just in front of the Chants' dugout.
Coastal then put together its second five-run inning of the series in the bottom of the frame, capped by Daneker's grand slam. Chiusano started it off by lacing a triple to the right-field corner and Quolas followed with an RBI single to center to make it 1-0. After Hayden walked, Noad reached on an infield single to load the bases. Daneker then homered on a 1-0 pitch over the left-field fence.
The Chants added another run in fourth on a sacrifice fly by Noad. Chiusano led off with a walk and stole second before Quolas hit an infield single to short. Chiusano advanced to third on the the play and scored on Noad's flyout to center.
Gardner-Webb used back-to-back doubles in the top of the fifth to score its only run of the series, but Quolas stranded runners on the corners to limit the damage, getting a strikeout and a groundout.
CCU then tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, with Chiusano again the catalyst. She drew another walk, stole second and third and scored on Hayden's RBI single to left. Noad followed with a single, her sixth hit of the series and, two batters later, Jessie Winans singled to right, scoring Hayden with the final run.
Quolas then struck out two batters in the seventh inning, the latter giving her an even 400 strikeouts for her career.
Jessica Childers took the loss for Gardner-Webb (10-21, 0-3), allowing six runs on seven hits in five innings.
Coastal now hits the road for a big conference series at Campbell. The two teams, which finished first and second in the conference last season, are scheduled to play a doubleheader Tuesday beginning at 4 p.m.