Softball Drops Two in Day Two of Coastal Carolina Tournament
CONWAY, S.C.-The Coastal Carolina softball team concluded play in the 2009 Coastal Carolina Softball Tournament today, March 14, with a pair of defeats. In game one, the Chants dropped a close 10-8 game to MichiganState. In game two of the day, the squad fell 3-0 to #15 North Carolina.
After surrendering a run in the Michigan State half of the first inning, the Chants jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the home half of the inning. With the bases loaded, junior Alyssa Tornatore (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora) hit a bases-clearing double to give Coastal Carolina the 3-1 lead.
Coastal Carolina (7-15) would tack on a pair of runs in the second inning, which was kick-started by Morgan Dodd (Chattanooga, Tenn./Girls Prep) reaching base on an error. Dodd was followed by a Sarah Maples (Pasadena, Texas/ Deer Park) walk and three straight singles by Brittany Birnbaum (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala), Stacy Snellings (Richmond, Va./ Godwin) and Kelsey Riffel (Wichita, Kan./Maize), resulting in the runs to give Coastal Carolina a seemingly comfortable 5-1 lead.
MichiganState (10-13) would answer back in the third inning, as Jessica Bracamonte reached base on an error. She was followed by Kelly Confer, who doubled to drive in Bracamonte to cut the lead to 5-2.
In the fourth, the Spartans would make the contest a two-run game, as Ali Grant hit the first of her two home runs on the day, a solo shot to cut the Coastal Carolina lead to 5-3.
Michigan State would take the lead for good in the fifth inning, as Grant followed up her solo shot with a two-run dinger to give the Spartans the 6-5 lead. MSU would add another run in the inning on a Lauren Kramer RBI single to stretch the lead to 7-6.
In the seventh, Michigan State scored three runs to stretch the lead to 10-6. Back-to-back doubles off the bats of Kara Weigle and Gina Mondo gave MSU the 8-6 lead. Kramer would tack on two more runs in one swing of the bat as she hit a two-run homer to center field to give the Spartans the four-run advantage.
Coastal Carolina threatened to come back in the bottom of the seventh, as catcher Ashley Pisone (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield) hit her first home run of the season to cut the lead to 10-7. After a Brittany Bailey (Nokesville, Va./Shenandoah) ground out, Dodd would hit a two-out solo shot to cut the lead to 10-8, but in the end, the seventh-inning heroics were not enough, as Coastal Carolina lost the contest.
Pitcher Katelin Edwards (Greer, S.C./Byrnes) battled all afternoon in the loss, but was ultimately let down by four Coastal Carolina errors. She falls to 4-11 on the season in the hard-luck loss after allowing 10 runs, seven earned, and 14 hits in the complete-game effort.
Michigan State used four pitchers in the contest, but freshman Rebecca Rogers (1-0) came away with the win after throwing two innings and allowing one run in her first collegiate appearance.
Tornatore was 3-for-4 with three RBI on the game, while Birnbaum, Snellings, and Riffel collected a pair of hits apiece.
In game two against #15 North Carolina, junior Ashley Frederick (Lusby, Md./Patuxent) took the start for the Chants. Frederick allowed an unearned run in the first inning, after Tar Heel Breanna Brown reached via an error. Brown would steal second base two pitches later. Brittany McKinney followed with a single to score Brown and give the Tar Heels the 1-0 lead.
The Coastal Carolina (7-16) bats struggled against UNC hurler Lisa Norris, who only allowed five batters to reach base on the day. Sparkplug Mecaela Ballard (Groves, Texas/Galveston) led the only Chanticleer scoring threat in the game, as she reached on a bunt single in the third. She went on to steal second base, but was stranded after strikeouts by Birnbaum and Snellings, as well as a groundout by Maples.
Frederick kept the juggernaut Tar Heel (21-6) offense quiet until the sixth inning. Gina Manko reached base on a single, and Constance Orr followed with the big blow of the game, a two-run jack over the left centerfield fence to give the Tar Heels the lead and the eventual final score of 3-0.
Frederick fell to 2-4 with the loss after tossing a complete-game six-hitter. She allowed three runs, two earned, and struck out a pair of Tar Heels.
Norris held the Chanticleer sticks almost completely in check, as she improved to 10-4 in the win. She allowed only two hits on the day, and struck out 11 Coastal Carolina batters in the complete-game shutout.
The Chanticleers will next take the field on Tues., March 17, hosting Division II opponent Limestone in a single game from Coastal Carolina Softball Field. First pitch is slated for