CONWAY, S.C. Coastal Carolina scored a 4-3 extra-inning victory in the nightcap of a Big South Conference softball doubleheader against Radford to gain a split against the Highlanders. Radford won the opener 3-0 behind a strong pitching performance by Deanna Benner.
Coastal is now 16-15 overall and 1-1 in the Big South Conference, while Radford is 10-29 overall and 3-1 in the Conference.
The story in the opener was all Benner (4-6). She allowed just three hits and walked one while striking out nine. While Benner was getting the job done in the pitching circle, Ashley Smith gave the Highlanders all the offense they would need with a homerun in the first inning. Smith also had a RBI fielders choice and Payton Nash plated the third run with a RBI single.
In game two, Radford took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Ashleigh Brooks reached on a leadoff single and later scored on back-to-back throwing errors by Karlye Fortune and Kelli Julg.
The Lady Chanticleers tied the game at 1-1 on a RBI double by Holly Lee to score Kimberly Josephson in the fourth inning. Radford retook the lead in the fifth as Donita Brady, who had reached on an error by CCU firstbaseman Jennifer Schmidt, scored on a double by Kelly Miles.
Coastal scored in the bottom of the fifth to again tie the score before Brooks led off the seventh inning with a solo homerun to give Radford a 3-2 advantage. In the bottom of the seventh, Lee's RBI singles plated Josephson for an unearned run that kept CCU's hopes of as split alive.
After holding Radford scoreless in the top of the eighth, Danielle Jenkins scored on Schmidt's two-out single to right field.
Belden (6-4) picked up the victory in relief of starter Lauren Yates as she allowed no hits and struck out three over the final two innings. Benner (4-7) took the loss in relief, allowing two unearned runs on five hits in 2.2 innings of work.
Josephson went 3-for-4 in game two, while Lee was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI to lead Coastal Carolina. Brooks went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and a RBI to pace the Highlanders.
Coastal Carolina will host Francis Marion University on Thursday, April 11, in a doubleheader beginning at 4:00 p.m.