BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Coastal Carolina University softball team defeated Birmingham-Southern 2-1 in eight innings in come-from-behind fashion at BSC Softball Park Sunday, March 30. The Lady Chanticleers (14-21, 2-1 Big South) took two games from the Panthers (21-15, 1-2 Big South) in the three-game series, which was the Big South opening series for both teams.
Birmingham-Southern got on the scoreboard first with a run in the fourth inning. With one out, Lindsey Creighton hit a hard ball down the right field line in order to reach first. Anne Lawrence hit an RBI double to right center that drove in Creighton to make it 1-0 in favor of Birmingham-Southern.
Coastal evened the game in the top of the fifth. With two outs, junior Kelsey Riffel (Wichita, Kan./Maize) laced a single down the right field line and then eventually stole second base with sophomore Alyssa Tornatore (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora) at-bat. Facing a full count, Tornatore smacked a single to right center that scored Riffel to make it a 1-1 game.
Both teams remained scoreless through the seventh inning in order to force extra innings. Due to the international tie-breaker rule, sophomore Mecaela Ballard (Groves, Texas/Port Neches Grove (Galveston JC)) was placed on second with junior Brittany Birnbaum (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala) leading off in the top of the eighth inning. Ballard reached third on a passed ball and then scored as Birnbaum hit a deep sacrifice fly to left field to make it 2-1.
In the bottom of the eighth and with Erin Glover on second to start the inning, Kayla Backlund hit into a fielder's choice to sophomore Alicia Irwin (Salina, Kan./Salina), who tossed the ball to classmate Laicole Walker (Wichita, Kan./Wichita Collegiate School) in order to tagged Glover out at third, but Backlund advanced to second on the throw. Melissa Muehlenfeld hit a fly ball to Ballard, who dove to catch the ball to give Birmingham-Southern two outs. Meanwhile, sophomore pitcher Ashley Frederick (Lusby, Md./Patuxent) retired Danielle Honore' for the final out of the game.
Frederick picked up the win after throwing all eight innings, giving up one run off five hits and fanning five batters. Bethney Reynoldson had the loss as she gave up two runs - one unearned - off four hits in the final five innings.
Coastal Carolina returns to action with a doubleheader against the College of Charleston Wednesday, April 2. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 4 p.m.