May 12, 2012
RADFORD, Va. - Coastal Carolina, the second seed, beat top seed and host Radford for the second time on Saturday in the 2012 Big South Softball Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting and Brookwood Farms Barbeque. After edging the Higlanders 3-2 earlier, Coastal won by a score of 4-0 at Radford Softball Field to advance to the championship game.
The Chanticleers advanced to the championship game for the first time since 2006. Coastal won the event, knocking off Radford by a 5-3 score in eight innings to advance to the NCAA Regional's for the fourth time in program history.
Coastal improves to 42-18 on the year, while Radford ends its season at 34-21.
Coastal opened up against Radford in the second game much like they did the first game on Saturday. Kiana Quolas hit a home run to center field in the top of the first inning to put the Chanticleers ahead 2-0. Kory Hayden reached base on balls in the previous at bat.
In the fifth, Sarah Maples singled and Hayden hit her 14th home run of the season over of center field fence to extend the Chanticleers lead to four.
Radford had an opportunity to score in the bottom of the sixth when Michelle Beall moved to second and Jessie Hutchens advanced to third on Micalah Sacre's ground out to Maples. Jackie Warr then reached base during the Highlanders next at bat, as she was walked with a full count and two outs. Coastal picked up the third out and closed out the inning without giving up a run when Ryndee Ruch hit a fly ball to right field.
Coastal recorded two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh inning before Hannah Oleda reached first on a single to right field and Vicki Madden was then walked. Ashley Bagwell secured the shutout by getting a ground ball to end the game.
Hayden ended the game with one hit, two RBI and two runs in two at bats, while being walked twice. Quolas finished with one hit, two RBI and one run in four at bats. Maples recorded one hit and one run in three at bats during the win.
Bagwell improved to 14-8 from the circle after pitching a complete game, striking out four, while walking four and giving up seven hits.
Micalah Sacre took the loss for the Highlanders following 3.2 innings pitched, in which she struck out three, walked four and allowed two hits.
Coastal will play the winner of the Charleston Southern vs. Gardner-Webb game on Sunday, March 13 for the Big South Conference Tournament championship in Radford, Va. at noon. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
Coastal Carolina Head Coach Kelley Green
"I thought that Ashley Bagwell had a tremendous performance for us tonight, we couldn't have asked more from her. She came out strong and kept us in that game the entire time, she just came up big along with our defense when they had runners on base and in scoring position. Offensively, it was huge that two of our rookies got home runs against Radford. We need all of the run support we can get, so it was nice that Kory and Kiana hit those home runs.
It is really great to have the opportunity to play tomorrow. Like I said after our last game we will have to put this win behind us and get ready for the game tomorrow. If we play Charleston Southern we need to play a lot better than we did against them the last time, if we play Gardner-Webb then we need to have a good game plan heading into the game."