CONWAY, S.C. -- Coastal Carolina's softball team opened the home portion of its schedule with a pair of losses at CCU Softball Field Saturday, Feb. 15. The Lady Chanticleers lost to Maryland 4-3 in 10 innings and then fell to Elon 5-2.
In CCU's first game, the Terrapins took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Nikki Lau scored off a single by Sarde Stewart. The Lady Chants evened the score at one in the bottom of the sixth when junior Verity Long-Droppert (Claremont, Australia/Shenton (Western Australia) blasted a solo home run to right center.
The game went to extra innings, utilizing the international tiebreaker rule. Stewart hit an RBI single that scored Jenny Belak, who had been placed on second, to give Maryland the 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth. But the Terps' lead would be brief as CCU responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning. With sophomore Laicole Walker (Wichita, Kan./Wichita Collegiate School) on second, senior Allison Cantrell (McDonough, Ga./Eagle's Landing) hit an RBI single to center field which allowed Walker to score. However, Maryland had two runs in the tenth inning, including a Stewart home run, that allowed the Terps to win.
Meredith Nelles was the winning pitcher after throwing 4.2 innings and allowing two hits and two runs. She also had seven strikeouts. Sophomore Ashley Frederick (Lusby, Md./Paxtuent) picked up the loss. Frederick threw all 10 innings, faced 41 batters and allowed just one earned run of the four off six hits.
Cantrell went 3-for-4 from the plate and had one RBI against the Terps.
Against Elon, Cantrell hit a two-run home run in the third inning to give CCU the 2-0 advantage. However, the Phoenix had a two-run blast from Jaimie Rao in the fifth to tie the game at two. The game remained tied until Elon rattled off three runs in the seventh inning to take a 5-2 lead and held on for the win.
Melani Helterbran pitched the complete game, allowing two runs off five hits in seven innings for the win. Meanwhile, Frederick, who also pitched all seven innings, received the loss. She struck out four, but allowed three earned runs off five hits.
Walker was the only Lady Chant to register multiple hits against the Phoenix as she was 2-for-3 from the plate. Meanwhile, Cantrell and junior Brittany Birnbaum (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala) scored CCU's only runs.
Coastal Carolina concludes the weekend games against both Maryland and Elon at the CCU Softball Field Sunday, Feb. 17. The Lady Chants face Maryland at 1:30 p.m. and then Elon at 4 p.m.