April 5, 2014
CONWAY - Kory Hayden tied the program's record for career home runs and the Coastal Carolina softball team swept Saturday's Big South Conference doubleheader against Liberty, notching a 5-1 win in the opener, followed by a 10-2 six-inning victory at Coastal Carolina Softball Stadium.
The Chanticleers improved to 25-11 overall and 7-1 in conference play. Liberty fell to 6-30 overall and 1-10 in the Big South.
Hayden homered in the third inning of the second game, giving her 14 for the season and 44 in her career. She tied the record held by Holly Lee, who hit 44 from 2000-03.
Hayden went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored in the game. The three RBIs gave her 130 for her career, moving into fifth place on CCU's all-time list in that category. Morgan Noad set a career-high for hits, going 3 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Amanda Daneker added two hits, including a two-run homer, and drove in three runs.
Ashley Bagwell (8-6) notched the complete-game win, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out six and walking three.
She was given early run support as Coastal scored three runs in the first inning against Liberty starter Annah Jo Brittingham. Bri Chiusano walked, stole second and scored on an RBI single up the middle by Noad. Daneker followed with her two-run double the left-field line, her third of the season.
Megan Robinson provided Liberty's lone runs with a two-run home run in the top of the third before Hayden made it 4-2 with her homer.
Coastal then broke the game open with four runs in the fourth and ended it early with two in the sixth. In the fourth, Sara Rasley led off with a single, forcing a Liberty pitching change. Following a forceout, a walk and a single by Kiana Quolas loaded the bases and Hayden hit a two-run double over the rightfielder. Daneker and Jessie Winans later drew bases-loaded walks to make it 8-2.
Hayden then led off the sixth with a single and Noad followed with her third base hit. After a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, Desiree Zaragoza hit an RBI single up the middle and Rasley hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Noad with the game-ending run.
It was the ninth run-rule victory for the Chants this season. They totaled 11 hits in the game against three Liberty pitchers. Brittingham lasted just one inning and took the loss.
In the first game, Quolas (17-4) won her sixth consecutive start and the Chants pulled away late. Quolas allowed one run on six hits, struck out seven and walked three. Offensively, seven Chanticleers each had one hit, while five different players drove in the runs.
Quolas broke a scoreless game in the third inning with an RBI single. Kasey Oliver reached on an infield hit with one out, went to second a wild pitch and moved to third on a groundout. Quolas then hit a liner over the third-base bag to plate the first run.
The Chants then made it 2-0 in the fifth as Brooke Donovan led off with a double to right-center, advanced to third on a sacrifice by Rasley and scored when Chiusano beat out a grounder to third for an infield single with two outs.
Liberty got a run back in the top of the sixth on a pair of walks and a single, but CCU answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Noad hit a one-out homer to right-center, her ninth of the year. Daneker then drew a walk and Winans followed with a double to put runners at second and third. A sacrifice fly by Donovan scored pinchrunner Courtney Howell and Rasley tacked on an RBI single to left for the final run.
Alyssa DiMartino pitched all seven innings for the Flames, allowing five run on seven hits.
Coastal will go for the three-game sweep when the teams wrap up the series Sunday at 1 p.m.