CONWAY, S.C. Coastal Carolinas softball team (23-18, 3-1 Big South) behind a record setting home run day swept College of Charleston (20-22) by the scores of 7-3 and 9-1. The Lady Chanticleers have now won 22 of their last 28 games.
Coastal set a team-record with seven home run in the doubleheader and have now hit a team-record 40 home run this season. Further, the three home runs blasted in the first inning of the second game by junior Kristina Sheppard (Galveston, Texas/Ball) and seniors Meagen Johnson (Georgetown, S.C./Georgetown) (Furman) and Brittany Nelson (Flower Mound, Texas/Marcus) are also the school mark for home runs in an inning.
The Lady Chants started the scoring off with three runs in the bottom of the second inning of the first game. Senior Katey Allen (Lewiston, Idaho/Lewiston (Albertson College)) and junior Ashley Gerdts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) both walked with two outs to put runners on first and second. Allen and Ashley Gerdts scored the first two runs of the afternoon on the dropped fly ball by the Cougars rightfielder Leshe Russell off the bat of senior Sara Hostetler (Albuquerque, N.M./Valley). A double to left field by redshirt junior Glynn Tolleson (Tomball, Texas/Tomball (Radford) scored Hostetler, who had reached second on the earlier fielding error, for the third run of the inning.
College of Charleston scored a run of their own in the top of the third as a ground out by Amber Shiffllett scored Jessica Lyneess from third. Lyness led off the inning with a walk, stole second and took third on a bunt single from Shonda Schlichenmayer. The Cougars tied the game in the fourth as Jessica Golden singled to start the inning. Golden moved to second on the throwing error from the Coastal hurler off the ball hit by Shannon Howard and came in to score on the Renee Francis single to second base. A two-out single from Shifflett scored Russell, who had singled earlier in the inning to load the bases.
The Lady Chants took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Ashley Gerdts reached first on a one-out single. She moved up two bases to third on the Tolleson single to right field. Johnson followed with a single up the middle to score Gerdts and advance Tolleson to third. Tolleson scored the second run of the inning on the Kelly Feely (Livermore, Calif./Granada) RBI single. CCU added two more runs in the fifth inning, as junior Kimberly Cillis (Magnolia, Texas/Magnolia) led off the inning with a single up the middle and moved to second on the fielding error from CofC centerfielder. Freshman Whitney Gibson (Knoxville, Tenn./Knoxville Webb) pinch ran for Cillis and moved to third on the Carla Hood (Marion, S.C./Marion) sacrifice bunt. A Nelson sacrifice fly drove in Gibson for the sixth run of the game. Ashley Gerdts followed with her seventh home run of the season to give Coastal the final 7-3 margain of victory.
The second game was all CCU from the first inning as the Lady Chants put up a five spot to start the game. Tolleson began the historic inning by reaching first on a one-out hit-by-pitch. Tolleson scored the first run of the game on the two-run home run from Johnson. For Johnson it was her 12th home run of the year. Feely followed by drilling a single to left field. She was on for the ride on the two-run blast from Sheppard. It was Sheppard's seventh home run on the year. Nelson, after a Cillis ground out, joined the party with a home run of her own to give the Lady Chants their third home run of the inning and fifth run of the game.
CCU added two more runs in the second, as Tolleson led off the inning with her first career home run. Johnson enjoyed the leasurely stroll around the bases so much the first time, she did it again in the second inning, for her 13th home run of the season and CCU's sixth home run of the day.
The Cougars momentarily stopped Coastal's momentum by tallying a run of their own in the third inning, as Shifflett's one-out walk put a runner on first. Shifflett advanced all the way to third on the two-base throwing error from the Lady Chants shortstop Ashley Gerdts. Gerdts caught a pop up off the bat of CofC pinch hitter Kolby Schooly in the infield, and attempted to pick off a wandering Shifflett from first. Shifflet would score the lone College of Charleston run on the two-out Jayme Durand double down the right field line.
Coastal finished off the CofC with two runs in the third. Ashley Gerdts led off the inning with her eighth home run of the season and CCU's record setting seventh home run of the day. Hostetler followed with a double to right-center field and came into score the ninth run of the game on Feely's RBI double to left field.
Redshirt junior Christine Doyle (Rio Rico, Ariz./Immaculate Heart Academy (NJ)) (10-6) was the game one winner for Coastal, going the distance for her ninth complete game of the season. The game two victor was Johnson (6-3), who went all five innings and only allowed two hits while fanning seven.
Johnson was 3-for-5 in the doubleheader with four runs-batted-in. Tolleson after a three hit performance in the first game, was 4-for-6 with three runs scored in the two games. Ashley Gerdts scored a career-high three runs in the first game.
Coastal's softball team next takes the field on Thursday, April 6 as the Lady Chants take on North Carolina State in a doubleheader at 4 p.m.
Notes: Tolleson tied her career best with three hits in the first game... With her two home runs, Ashley Gerdts has now hit a career best eight home runs on the season... Johnson three runs-batted-in in the second game was the 10th time this season she has had multiple RBIs in a game.