CONWAY, S.C. -- The Coastal Carolina University softball team won both of its games in the doubleheader against Presbyterian Thursday, March 20 at the CCU Softball Field. The Lady Chanticleers came from behind in game one, tying the game in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings and eventually coming out with the 6-5 win in 10 innings, marking CCU's first 10-inning game victory since 1991. Then in game two, Coastal downed the Blue Hose 4-2.
In game one, Presbyterian jumped out to a 3-0 advantage as Katie Anderson hit a three-run home run in the top of the first. Coastal began to fight back with a solo shot to right field by sophomore Laicole Walker (Wichita, Kan./Wichita Collegiate School) in the bottom of the fourth. However, the Blue Hose regained a three-run lead in the fifth. With one out, Amanda Miller doubled down the left field line and then moved to third on an Ashley Ford groundout. Miller scored off an RBI single by Rachel Parker and allowed Presbyterian to take a 4-1 lead.
Coastal scored all three of its seventh inning runs off a Presbyterian error. There were two outs and the Lady Chants had the bases loaded with junior Verity Long-Droppert (Claremont, Australia/Shenton (Western Australia)) on first, junior Brittany Birnbaum (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala) on second and freshman Cass Stuart (Colville, Wash./Colville) on third as freshman Michelle Evans (Upland, Calif./Upland) stepped up to the plate. Evans hit a deep fly ball to left field that was dropped by Cari Clark, allowing Stuart, Birnbaum and Long-Droppert to score and even the game 4-4.
Presbyterian went up 5-4 in the top of the eighth as Clark scored off a Taylor Staten single to right field, but Coastal tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth. With Walker on second due to the international tie-breaker rule, junior Kelsey Riffel (Wichita, Kan./Maize) had a sacrifice bunt that moved Walker to third. Sophomore Mecaela Ballard (Groves, Texas/Port Neches Groves (Galveston JC)) hit an RBI single to left field that scored Walker and even the game at five.
The two teams played through one-and-a-half scoreless innings before Coastal broke the tie in the 10th. With freshman Ashley Pedersen (Fayetteville, Ga./Whitewater) on second to start the inning, classmate Ashley Pisone (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield Area) bunted, allowing Pedersen to advance to third and Pisone to reach first. Walker hit the game-winning single to centerfield that drove in Pedersen to give the Lady Chants the 6-5 win.
Sophomore Ashley Frederick (Lusby, Md./Paxtuent) pitched the final three innings for the win, giving up one run on one hit and tossing five strikeouts. Mary Gordon pitched the entire game for the Blue Hose, allowing six runs - one earned - off eight hits and throwing seven strikeouts in nine innings of work.
In game two, Coastal took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first and never looked back. Ballard opened the inning by reaching first on a Presbyterian error and then moved to second when Birnbaum was hit by a pitch. Long-Droppert loaded up the bases with a fielder's choice and, with no outs, sophomore Alicia Irwin (Salina, Kan./Salina) hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Ballard. Evans reached first on a fielder's choice that got Birnbaum out at third, but a Pisone single drove in Long-Droppert from second.
The Blue Hose cut CCU's lead down to one in the third with Paige Cassady scoring off a Miller single, but the Lady Chants regained their two-run lead in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, Long-Droppert doubled to left center. She advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on an Evans sacrifice fly to make it a 3-1 game.
Both team recorded runs in the sixth inning. Parker homered to left field to make it a 3-2 game. However, Long-Droppert had a bases-load walk in the bottom of the sixth that allowed Walker to cross home plate, giving CCU the 4-2 advantage.
Frederick had her second win of the day as she threw the entire seven innings. She allowed two runs, one of which was earned, off five hits. Cassady picked up the loss after throwing six innings and allowing four runs - one earned - off four hits.
On the day, Walker went 3-for-8 from the plate, with three runs and two RBI.
The Lady Chants return to action with a doubleheader against Georgia Tech Saturday, March 22 at the CCU Softball Field. The first pitch of game one is set for 2 p.m.