CONWAY, S.C. Coastal Carolinas softball team (24-19, 3-1 Big South) split its non-conference doubleheader with North Carolina State (33-14) on Thursday, April 7 at CCU Softball Field. Coastal won the opening game of the day in thrilling 1-0 fashion with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but dropped the second game 4-1. The Lady Chanticleers have now won 23 of their last 30 games.
Redshirt junior Christine Doyle (Rio Rico, Ariz./Immaculate Heart Academy (NJ)) (11-6) pitched masterful in the first game, going the distance with six hits allowed and eight strikeouts. Coastal secured the victory in the bottom of the seventh on the late game heroics from senior Kelly Feely (Livermore, Calif./Granada).
Both Doyle and N.C. State's Shaina Ervin (11-3) breezed through the first three innings with the only base runners being a pair of hits allowed by Doyle.
The Wolfpack threatened in the fourth as Miranda Ervin's one-out single put a runner on first. Beth Poor pinch ran for Miranda Ervin and moved to second on the single through the left side from Abbie Sims. But Doyle got out of the potential sticky situation by inducing the next two N.C. State batters, Shaina Ervin and Megan Dalthrop, to ground out to keep the game scoreless.
North Carolina State again threatened in the sixth, as Shanna Smith started the frame with a bunt single. She then stole second to put a runner in scoring position. Jennifer Chamberlin followed by reaching first on a fielder choice in which Smith was able to scampered back to second, after a long run down, to put runners on first and second. Miranda Ervin grounded a ball back to the pitcher in which Doyle took out the lead runner at third for the first out of the inning. Abbie Smith's fielder choice moved Chamberlin to third, while eliminating Miranda Ervin at second to put runners on the corners with two outs. A Shaina Ervin ground out ended the inning and kept the game scoreless.
CCU broke through for its first hit of the game in the sixth, as sophomore Ashley Gerdts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) hit a ball through the left side for a one-out single. Junior Danyelle Gerdts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) pinch ran for Ashley Gerdts and after a CCU strikeout she stole second. But she was thrown out at third on another attempted steal to end the sixth.
CCU pushed a run across in the bottom of the seventh inning. Redshirt junior Glynn Tolleson (Tomball, Texas (Radford)) walked to start the frame. She went all the way to third on single in the left-center field gap from senior Meagen Johnson (Georgetown, S.C./Georgetown (Furman)). Feely followed by drilling a game-winning single to left-center scoring Tolleson and giving Coastal a 1-0 win in the first game of the doubleheader.
The second game was a game of lost opportunities as the Lady Chants left 11 runners on base, including runners on third base in the first, fourth and sixth innings.
North Carolina State took the early lead with three runs in the opening inning of the second game. Heather Gelbard doubled to start the game. Ashleigh Davis pinch ran for Gelbard at second. Chamberlin walked, after a strike out, to put runners on first and second. A Miranda Ervin double to left field scored Davis for the first run of the game as Chamberlin advanced to third. After another strikeout, both Chamberlin and Ervin came in to score the second and third runs of the game on two wild pitches.
Coastal loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning but were unable to score. Senior Sara Hostetler (Albuquerque, N.M./Valley) walked to start the inning. She moved to second as Johnson was hit by a pitch. A Feely walk loaded the bases with one-out, but a strikeout and a fielder choice ended the inning.
The Wolfpack added a run to its lead in the second. Tess Corona's one-out walk put a runner on first. She moved to third on Heather Gelbard's second double of the game. A Smith single off the CCU pitcher, senior Brittany Nelson (Flower Mound, Texas/Marcus), scored Corona for the fourth run of the evening.
CCU stranded two more runners in the second inning, as both junior Carla Hood (Marion, S.C./Marion) and Ashley Gerdts walked with one out. But both runners were left on first and second as the next two Lady Chants were retired in order on a pop out and strikeout.
Junior Kristina Sheppard (Galveston, Texas/Ball) singled down the left field line in the third for CCU's first hit of the second game, but she could get no farther than first.
Coastal scored a run in the fourth on the home run blasted to left center from Ashley Gerdts to make the score 4-1. For Gerdts it was her ninth home run of the season, but that was as close as the Lady Chants could get as the final margin of victory was 4-1. Nelson (4-5) took the loss in the second game for Coastal, as she gave up all four runs on seven hits in seven innings of work.
Coastal's softball team next takes the field on Tuesday, April 11 as the Lady Chants take on Elon in a doubleheader at 3 p.m.