Conway, S.C.-The Coastal Carolina softball team wrapped up a three game series with Gardner-Webb this afternoon, Sat., April 6, with a 2-1 loss to the Bulldogs at Coastal Carolina Softball Field.
Gardner-Webb (14-19, 3-6 BSC) shot out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, as Adrienne Smith reached on a one out single. Melody Harrell and Christa Fullwood then followed with consecutive RBI base knocks off of Coastal Carolina (11-22, 2-4 BSC) starter Katelin Edwards (Greer, S.C./Newberry College) to take the 2-0 advantage.
Senior Brittany Birnbaum (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala) earned the first base hit of the contest for Coastal Carolina with one out in the first inning. However, she was stranded after groundouts by Sarah Maples (Pasadena, Texas/Deer Park) and Michelle Evans (Upland, Calif./Upland).
In the visitors third, Melinda Dulkowski laced a two out double to left centerfield, knocking Edwards out of the game in favor of freshman Ivy McCranie (Nashville, Ga./Berrien). The freshman then went on to strike out Adrienne Smith to end the inning, stranding Dulkowski at second.
The game then settled into a pitchers dual in the middle innings, as Bulldog starter Christine Murray retired 14 batters in a row at one point, with McCranie retiring eight in a row.
Coastal Carolina snapped the streak in the home half of the sixth, as Coastal Carolina got its second hit of the day and first run in one swing of the bat, as Morgan Dodd (Chattanooga, Tenn./Girls Preparatory) hit a solo shot over the left field fence to cut the Bulldog lead in half, 2-1. Mecaela Ballard (Groves, Texas/Galveston) then followed with an infield single and stole second, but was stranded after Murray induced a pair of pop outs to end the inning and prevent any further damage.
The Chanticleers threatened to tie the game up in the in the bottom of the seventh, as Evans grounded out to the second baseman for the first out of the inning. Freshman Stacy Snellings (Richmond, Va./Mills E. Godwin) then drew a one out walk. Two pitches later, pinch runner Ashley Pisone (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield) was thrown out attempting to steal second for the second out of the inning. Following the unsuccessful steal attempt, Olivia Williams (Whiteville, N.C./Greensboro College) singled up the middle, but the next batter Kelsey Riffel (Wichita, Kan./Maize) flied out to deep left field to end the game.
Edwards (5-14) takes the loss, as she allowed a pair of runs on five hits and fanned two batters in 3.2 innings of work. McCranie was effective in relief for the second day in a row, as she threw 3.1 innings of two hit ball with a pair of strikeouts.
Murray stifled the Chanticleer bats for the second time on the weekend, as she tossed a complete game, four-hitter with seven strikeouts to improve to 7-12 on the season.
Four players had hits on the day for Coastal Carolina, with Dodd’s home run accounting for Coastal Carolina’s offense. Dulkowski led the way for Gardner-Webb with a single and a double.
The Chanticleers will next take the field as the team travels to Columbia, S.C. to take on in state rival South Carolina on Tues., April 7. First pitch is slated for a start.