CONWAY, S.C. On a rainy, cold and dreary day at CCU Softball Field the Coastal Carolina softball team (0-3) lost to #3 Tennessee (3-0) 8-0 in five innings on Saturday, Feb. 11.
The Chanticleers knew the game would be a challenge as Tennessee pitched junior All-American Monica Abbott. Abbott, one of the elite pitchers on one of the elite teams in the country, was her usual All-American self as she struck out 10 and held Coastal hitless in a five inning complete game.
Tennessee started fast as senior Sarah Fekete scored on a throwing error in the first inning to give the Lady Vols the early 1-0 advantage.
The Lady Vols added two more runs in the second inning. The trouble began after Liane Horiuchi was by a pitch after redshirt junior Coastal starter Christine Doyle (Rio, Ariz./Immaculate Heart Academy (NJ) had retired the first two batters in order. A walk and a second hit bats man loaded bases. Senior Kristi Durant followed with an two-run RBI single through the box to make the score 3-0.
In the Coastal second, the Chants nearly broke through against Abbott as Kristina Sheppard (Galveston, Texas/Ball) sent a towering fly ball to left field that sent Jennifer Griffin racing toward the warning track to record the out.
Tennessee added four more to its lead in the third inning keyed by a Fekete RBI single up the middle that plated two. The Lady Vols added another run in the fourth to make the final margin of victory 8-0 in a run-shortened game.
The win went to Abbott who raised her record to 2-0 on the 2006 campaign. The loss was Doyle's first of the year.
The rest of the games of the CCU Tournament, which also involved Illinois State, were cancelled due to weather issues and will not be made up.
The Coastal makes its first road trip of the season next weekend as it travels to Chapel Hill, N.C. to participate in the Triangle Classic, Feb 17-19 on the campus of North Carolina. The Chants play its first game of the tournament on Friday, Feb. 17 at 2:30 p.m. against Minnesota.