BIRMINGHAM, ALA. Coastal Carolinas softball team (21-18, 3-1 Big South) behind the strong pitching of redshirt junior Christine Doyle (Rio Rico, Ariz.Immaculate Heart Academy (NJ)) in the second game, split its conference doubleheader against Birmingham-Southern College (22-8, 5-1 Big South) by the scores of 8-1 and and 8-0 on Sunday, April 2 in Birmingham, Ala. The Lady Chanticleers have now won 20 of their last 26 games.
Doyle (9-6) was solid in going all six innings of the run-ruled second game, allowing only three hits with four strikeouts, in throwing her eighth complete game and third shutout of the season.
Coastal broke through first with two runs in the first inning of the second game, as senior Sara Hostetler (Albuquerque, N.M./Valley) doubled to start the game. She came in to score on the one-out home run blasted to right field by senior Meagen Johnson (Georgetown, S.C./Georgetown (Furman)). For Johnson it was her 11th home run of the season.
The Lady Chanticleers added three more runs in the third inning. Hostetler walked to start the frame. She moved to second on the sacrifice bunt from redshirt junior Glynn Tolleson (Tomball, Texas/Tomball (Radford)) and took third on pass ball. Hostetler scored the first run of the frame on the one-out single from Johnson. A Kelly Feely (Livermore, Calif./Granada) single moved Johnson to second. Johnson scored the second run of the inning on the RBI double off the bat of junior Kristina Sheppard (Galveston, Texas/Ball), which also moved Feely to third. Feely scampered home as junior Kimberly Cillis (Magnolia, Texas/Magnolia) singled through the right side for Coastal's fifth run of the game and third of the inning.
Sophomore Ashley Gerdts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) started the fourth inning with her sixth home run of the season to give CCU its sixth run.
Coastal finished the second game off with two runs in the sixth inning. Tolleson reached first on a fielder choice to put a runner on first. She took second on a wild pitch. A Johnson double scored Tolleson, giving Johnson her fourth RBI of the day. Senior Irene Finley (Wilmington, N.C./John T. Hoggard) pinch ran for Johnson and moved to third on Feely's double. Finley came in to score the eighth and final run of the game on single off the bat of Sheppard.
The first game began well for the Lady Chants as CCU scored first with a run in the second inning. Senior Brittany Nelson (Flower Mound, Texas/Marucs) led off the frame with a blast to left field. For Nelson it was her third home run of the season and gave Coastal a 1-0 lead.
Birmingham-Southern tied the game in the bottom of the frame. Junior Melissa Taunton's one-out single put a runner on first. She moved to second on the second infield single of the inning from junior Heather Fox. Both runners moved up a base on the walk to Blaes Schmissrauter. A ground out to the Coastal shortstop by Tifani Talbert plated the first run of the game for BSC and tied the score at one all.
BSC took the lead for good with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Junior Heather Fox reached first on the one-out error from the CCU shortstop. A Schmissrauter single moved Fox to second. Both runners moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Kayla Backlund and scored on the two-out Melissa Muehlenfeld double.
The fifth inning was an inning forget for the Lady Chants, as CCU reliever Nelson gave up five runs on five hits, with the big blow being a one-out two-run triple off the bat of Muehlenfeld.
Johnson (5-3) was the game one loser for the Coastal, as she gave up three runs only one earend in four innings with four strikeouts. BSC senior Kristina Villavicencio (14-4) pitched well for the Panthers, only surrendering one run on four hits with eight strikeouts.
Coastal's softball team next takes the field on Tuesday, April 4 as the Lady Chants take on College of Charleston in a doubleheader at 4 p.m.
Notes: Feely's four hits in the second game were a career-best and tied fellow senior Hostetler for most hits in a single game for Coastal this season... With her home run Ashley Gerdts has now hit six home runs on the season, twice as many as she hit last season... CCU with a win in the second game are 12-4 in teal uniforms this year...Johnson four runs-batted-in were the ninth time this season she has had multiple RBIs in a game.