CONWAY, S.C. Senior pitcher Lauren Yates looked like the pitcher of old as she posted a five-hit, complete game victory over Furman University on Sunday afternoon at Lady Chants Field.
Yates (1-0), a native of Nokesville, Virginia, missed much of the 2001 season due to injury and did not return to full pitching duty until this January. She brought a 14.00 ERA into the contest after struggling in her first two outings, but gained much of her confidence back against the Paladins.
Her teammates gave her run support early as Karlye Fortune put Coastal ahead with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning. Yates then helped herself with what was eventually the game-winning RBI on a single through the right side of the infield to score Danielle Jenkins.
Staked with the two-run lead, Yates retired nine of the next 10 Furman batters she faced. Furman's Kristin White led off the sixth inning with a double to left-center and scored on a two-out single by Kate Morrison.
The Paladins' Kelli Leachman connected for a leadoff single in the seventh inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by JoDee Eichelberger. Pinch-hitter Melissa Hutton lined the second pitch she saw from Yates toward the right side of the infield as CCU first baseman Jennifer Schmidt made a diving catch on the line drive. Schmidt quickly got to her feet and threw to shortstop Kelli Julg to catch pinch-runner Karissa King off of second base for the final out.
Kristy Goodrich (1-2) was the hard-luck losing pitcher for Furman as she allowed just one earned run and six hits while striking out four.
Fortune and Jenkins led Coastal Carolina offensive attack, each going 2-for-3 at the plate. Leachman was the only Paladin to collect more than one hit as she was 2-for-3 as well.
Coastal Carolina will continue its homestand on Monday as the Lady Chanticleers host Arkansas in a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader.