April 2, 2014
WILMINGTON, N.C. - The Coastal Carolina softball team split two low-scoring, one-run games with UNC Wilmington in a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday, rallying for a 2-1 victory in the opener, but falling by the same 2-1 score in a nine-inning nightcap.
Kory Hayden hit a go-ahead two-run single in the sixth inning of the first game for the Chanticleers (23-11). UNC Wilmington (17-17) won the second game on an RBI single by Erin Brown.
Kiana Quolas won her fifth straight start in the opener, allowing one unearned run on three hits, while striking out five and walking one. The lone run against her came in the first inning as only walk was followed by an error and a bloop single by Nella Chamblee.
Quolas shut the Seahawks down after that, but UNCW freshman starter Peyton Jordan held Coastal to just one hit over the first five innings. Jordan had retired 13 straight Chanticleers before Kasey Oliver started the sixth inning with a leadoff single to right- center. Bri Chiusano followed by putting down a bunt in front of the plate for an infield single. Quolas moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice. Hayden then hit a blooper to shallow center that went off the outstretched glove of second baseman Jessica Rappe as she tried to make an over-the-shoulder catch, and both Oliver and Chiusano scored easily.
Quolas (16-4) then preserved the lead, putting UNC Wilmington down in order in the sixth and seventh. She retired the last 10 batters she faced and 18 of the final 20 over the final six innings, allowing just scattered singles in the second and fourth.
The win was the first for Coastal this season in a game in which it trailed after the fifth inning and, furthermore, marked the first CCU game in which the lead changed hands in the fifth inning or later.
The second game started the same way as the first did, with an RBI hit by Chamblee that put the Seahawks on the board in the first. Brittany Gamby singled with one out, moved to second on a walk and stole third before Chamblee singled with two outs.
Coastal had a chance to tie it in the third as Chiusano reached on an infield single with one out, stole second with two outs and moved to third on a throwing error. Hayden then hit a liner that was headed toward right-center, but hung up long enough for rightfielder Merritt Wilkinson to make a sliding catch.
UNCW threatened in the bottom of the inning as Wilkinson led off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice, but Ashley Bagwell got back-to-back strikeouts to keep it a one-run game.
The Chants again used the sixth inning to get on the board as pinch-runner Courtney Howell scored from third on a wild pitch. Quolas led off with a bloop single to center. Howell then came in and stole second and went to third when ball hit her on the throw to second and rolled into left field. After a strikeout, Casey Rowland's first pitch to Amanda Daneker was low and went to the backstop and Howell was able to slide in just ahead of the tag by Rowland.
With the score tied 1-1 after seven innings, the game went to the international tiebreaker, but netiher team could take advantage in the eighth. Quolas sacrificed Chiusano to third to start the top of the inning, but Jordan, who had entered in relief, struck out Hayden and got Daneker to ground out. In the bottom, a pair of walks - one of them intentional - loaded the bases with two outs for UNC Wilmington, but Bagwell got a groundout to take the game to the ninth.
Noad led off the ninth with a grounder to second that Rappe was able to field, preventing a chance for pinchrunner Taylor Harris to score. With Harris at third and one out, Coastal was again unable to score as Jordan struck out Sara Rasley and induced a groundout by Winans.
Pinchrunner Taylor Matkins started off the bottom of the ninth by stealing third and scored easily when Brown singled to left, giving the Seahawks their first win over Coastal in 11 games.
Bagwell (7-6) suffered another hard-luck loss, allowing the two runs on just six hits while striking out eight and walking three. Jordan got the win in relief, while Rowland struck out 10 in her seven innings of work.
The Chants totaled eight hits in the game, with Chiusano the only player in either game to have more than one hit, going 2 for 4. Both teams left eight runners on base.
Coastal returns home this weekend to host Liberty for a three-game series. A doubleheader is scheduled for Saturday beginning at 1 p.m., with the first game to air live on ESPN3.