CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina's softball team dropped a 6-2 game to South Carolina Wednesday, April 9 at the CCU Softball Field. Coastal (16-27) maintained a one-run lead on two different occasions, but the Gamecocks (20-15) came back and used a five-run seventh inning in order to get the win.
The Lady Chanticleers scored the game's first run in the second inning. With one out, junior Kelsey Riffel (Wichita, Kan./Maize) started the CCU offense with a single up the middle. Freshman Ashley Pedersen (Fayetteville, Ga./Whitewater) ripped a double to center field and advanced to third as Riffel beat out the throw to the plate to put Coastal up 1-0.
South Carolina tied the game in the fourth inning. Laura Mendes reached first on a Coastal error and then moved to second on a Jill Semento sacrifice bunt. After Becky Martinez walked, Jessica Josker hit an RBI single to center field that drove in Mendes from second.
Sophomore Alicia Irwin (Salina, Kan./Salina South) gave Coastal the slim 2-1 advantage with a lead-off home run to left field in the fifth inning, which was her third home run of the year.
Unfortunately for the Lady Chanticleers, South Carolina had several key hits during the top of the seventh. P.J. Fulmer led off the inning with a double to center field. After Jacqueline Wetherbee pinch hit for Adele Voigt and was hit by a pitch. Voigt re-entered the game to run for Wetherbee at first. An Ashton Payne single up the middle loaded up the bases for Mendes, who hit a single through the left side that allowed Fulmer to score the game-tying run. With the bases still loaded, Semento sealed the win for the Gamecocks with a grand slam to center field.
Kate Pouliot pitched the final three innings for the Gamecocks en route to picking up the win. She allowed two hits and retired five batters. Pedersen threw the complete game for the loss. She allowed six runs - five of which were earned - off eight hits and struck out four.
Coastal Carolina returns to action this weekend when it hosts Liberty in a Big South three-game series at the CCU Softball Field Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, April 13. The series starts with a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday.