CLEARWATER, FLA-Coastal Carolina's softball team (5-12) used an evenly balanced offensive attack, led by junior Kimberly Cillis' (Magnolia, Texas/Magnolia) two run single, to drop Illinois 7-2 (4-8) in the first game of the USF-Spring Break Invitational on March 9.
Coastal jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Sophomore Allison Cantrell (McDonough, Ga./Eagle's Landing) reached on an mishandled throw by the Illinois second baseman, Courtney Hoogeveen. Junior Danyelle Gerdts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) followed with a line drive home run to right field to give CCU the 2-0 lead. Illinois would answer in its half of the first as with two runs of its own. Rachelle Coriddi walked to start the inning and came into score on the double down the leftfield line from Shanna Diller. Diller came into score herself from a two out CCU fielding error to tie the game up at two.
The Lady Chants exploded for four runs in the third inning. Senior Sara Hostetler (Albuquerque, N.M./Valley) reached base and went to second on the throwing error from Jenna Hall, Illinois first baseman. Kristina Sheppard (Galveston, Texas/Ball) and Kelly Feely (Livermore, Calif./Granada) both walked to load the bases. A walk to senior Meagen Johnson (Georgetown, S.C/Georgetown (Furman)) plated Hostetler for the first run of the inning. Cillis drove in Sheppard and Feely with her game winning single down the leftfield line. A Cantrell single up the middle, scored Johnson from second for the fourth run of the inning and six run of the game.
Coastal added a run to its lead in the sixth inning as Johnson's one out double to right center scored Hostetler, who walked to open the inning, to make the final margin of victory 7-2..
Redshirt junior Christine Doyle (Rio Rico, Ariz./Immaculate Heart Academy (NJ) (2-3) won her second game of the season going five innings, giving up two run while striking out three. Senior Brittany Nelson (Flower Mound, Texas/Marcus) went to scoreless innings in relief to preserve the victory.
Coastal continues its play in the USF-Spring Break Classic with a game this evening, March 9 against Central Michigan at 6 p.m.