April 26, 2013
LYNCHBURG, Va - The Coastal Carolina softball team homered four times to set a new school record, while picking up two big wins Friday afternoon, sweeping a Big South Conference doubleheader at Liberty with convincing 5-1 and 9-0 victories.
The Chanticleers improved to 33-20 overall and 18-5 in the conference and solidified their hold on second place. Liberty (19-32, 8-15) extended its losing streak to 11 games.
In the opener, Kiana Quolas hit a three-run homer to break a scoreless tie in the fifth inning and also notched the complete-game victory, allowing just five hits. She added a double and combined with Cacia Pierre for all four of the Chanticleers' hits and each of their RBIs. Pierre went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.
Jessie Winans and Kory Hayden then hit homers in the second game, giving the Chanticleers 63 for the season, breaking the previous mark of 62 set in 2007. Hayden also tied career-highs with three hits and four RBIs. Brooke Donovan added three more of the Chants' 10 hits.
Ashley Bagwell notched the six-inning shutout, limiting the Flames to just two hits, striking out nine and walking none.
Both teams had early opportunities to score in the first game, but were unable to capitalize. Coastal stranded runners in scoring position in the first, third and fourth, while Liberty left runners on third base in both the first and second.
Pierre got CCU's first hit of the game, singling to left leading off the fourth. Pinch-runner Sara Rasley went to second on a sacrifice by Jazmin Daigle and moved to third on a flyout. However, Liberty pitcher Chandler Ball got an inning-ending strikeout.
Coastal put its leadoff hitter on for the fourth time of the game in the fifth and this time took advantage. Donovan walked and Winans sacrificed her to second and was able to reach herself on an error. Two batters later, Quolas hammered a 1-1 pitch off the flagpole in center for her 11th home run of the season. Pierre then hit the scoreboard with a solo shot, her eighth homer of the year, for a 4-0 lead.
The Chanticleers tacked on a run in the seventh on an RBI groundout by Pierre. Quolas led off with a double to the gap in left-center and pinch-runner Nicole Saggiomo moved to third on a sac bunt by Kory Hayden, before alertly coming home when Pierre grounded out to the shortstop.
Quolas, meanwhile, got into a groove in the circle, retiring 10 of 11 Liberty batters heading into the seventh, and then got help from the defense. Winans robbed Liberty's Kelby Allen of a hit to start the last inning, leaping to catch a hard liner in the top of her glove. The Flames, though, were able to get on the board with a single by Hanna Nichols and an RBI double by Kassidy McCoy. However, Quolas (20-9) got a strikeout and a lineout to Hayden at third to end it. The right-hander struck out five and walked just one in the game.
In the nightcap, Winans gave the Chants a 1-0 lead in the third inning, hitting a leadoff home run over the center-field fence, her sixth of the season.
CCU made it 2-0 in the fourth as Morgan Noad singled to right and scored when Donovan found the gap in left-center for an RBI double.
Liberty put runners on first and second in the bottom of the inning, but Bagwell pitched out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout.
The Chants then stretched the lead to 5-0 in the fifth, knocking out Liberty starter Annah Jo Brittingham in the process. Bri Chiusano reached on an error and scored on Quolas' double to the left-field corner, which extended her hitting streak to nine games. Hayden then hit the next pitch over the fence in left for a two-run homer, her 14th of the season and the record-breaker.
Coastal then scored four more in the sixth. Winans led off with a single, Chiusano was hit by a pitch and Quolas walked to load the bases. Hayden then hit a two-run single to center and Quolas scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-0 and an RBI single by Donovan capped the onslaught.
Bagwell worked four 1-2-3 innings in the game, including the last two frames to close it out.
Coastal will play its final regular-season game Saturday as the teams wrap up the series at 1 p.m.