JACKSONVILLE, FLA. -- Coastal Carolina's softball team lost both of its games in the first day of the JU Softball Tournament held at the Jacksonville University Softball Complex Friday, Feb. 29. The Lady Chanticleers (5-9) fell 2-1 in a heartbreaker to North Florida and then lost 8-2 to Jacksonville.
Coastal and North Florida played through seven scoreless innings. Junior Kelsey Riffel (Wichita, Kan./Maize) scored the game's first run in the top of the eighth. With Riffel placed on second due to the international tiebreaker rule, sophomore Alicia Irwin (Salina, Kan./Salina South) laid down a bunt in order to move Riffel to third, but a throwing error by North Florida's Caroline Torre allowed Irwin to reach first and for Riffel to score to give CCU the 1-0 lead.
However, the Ospreys responded in the bottom half of the inning. Ashley Parenteau had a two-run home run to left field, which gave UNF the 2-1 win.
Devyn Findley pitched all eight innings in order to pick up the win. She allowed four hits and threw nine strikeouts. Sophomore Ashley Frederick (Lusby, Md./Paxtuent) had the loss for the Lady Chants. Frederick threw 7.1 innings, allowed two earned runs off three hits and recorded six strikeouts.
Junior Verity Long-Droppert (Claremont, Australia/Shenton (Western Reserve)) was the only player in the game to record more than one hit, with two hits in three at-bats.
In the second game, Jacksonville scored one run in both the first and the second innings in order to take a 2-0 lead. Jillian Mirante had a lead-off single in the first inning and then advanced to second off a single by Katarina Engler. With one out, Katie Kelly reached on a fielder's choice that advanced Engler to second, but got Mirante out at third. Beth Glasscock hit a single through the left side that drove Engler in from second and allowed the Dolphins to take a 1-0 lead. Jacksonville added to their lead in the second as Kelly McKeon had a lead-off single up the middle. With one out, McKeon advanced to second off a Kayla Ouellet hit to left field. Mirante then had an RBI single that allowed McKeon to score form second.
Coastal answered with a two-run third inning. Freshman Michelle Evans (Upland, Calif./Upland) started the Lady Chants' offense with a single to center field. A sacrifice bunt by freshman Ashley Pisone (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield Area) allowed Evans to advance to second. Evans moved to third when sophomore Laicole Walker (Wichita, Kan./Wichita Collegiate School) reached base on an error by McKeon. Walker went on to steal second as Irwin struck out for CCU's second out of the inning. Both Evans and Walker scored unearned runs as Long-Droppert reached base on a Glasscock error in order to even the game at two apiece.
However, the Dolphins used a five-run fourth inning to take a 7-2 lead. With one out, Amber Moseley singled through the left side and then advanced to second off an Ouellet single through the right side. Both runners advanced a base due to a wild pitch and then Mirante walked in order to load the bases. After Sara Gordon struck out, Patricia Melo and Kelly recorded back-to-back bases loaded walks that scored Moseley and Ouellet, respectively. Melo and Mirante scored from second and third, respectively, as Glasscock reached base on an error and Kelly moved to third. Kelly tallied the inning's final run as she advanced home off a passed ball. Jacksonville added one final run in the fifth as Ouellet reached base on a fielder's choice and then stole second. A Mirante single allowed Ouellet to score from second and give Jacksonville the 8-2 lead.
Shannon Jensen earned the win after pitching seven innings. She fanned seven batters and allowed two runs, both unearned, off four hits. Meanwhile, Evans had the loss after throwing 5.2 innings. She gave up five runs, all earned, off 11 hits and had four strikeouts.
Coastal returns to action at the JU Softball Tournament Saturday, March 1. The Lady Chants face North Florida at 12:15 p.m. and Virginia 2:45 p.m., at the JU Softball Complex.