Coastal Carolinas softball team will again be busy this week. The Lady Chanticleers start the week by traveling to Elon, N.C. to play a pair of games on April 11 against the Phoenix starting at 3 p.m. Coastal then returns home for a non-conference doubleheader on Thursday, April 13 at 5 p.m., against state rival South Carolina. CCU wraps up the week with a conference doubleheader against Charleston Southern at 2 p.m.
The Phoenix (18-16) fell twice over the weekend to current Southern Conference leader Western Carolina by the scores of 8-0 and 6-2. Sophomore Debbie Zeigler has been the best offensive player on Elon this season. She leads the team in hits (46), runs-batted in (37), doubles (10) and total bases (67). The Elon pitching staff has been a balanced staff with three hurlers that have won four or more games and throw 70 or more innings. Senior Whitney Meeks leads the team in wins with nine and strikeouts with 43.
Series vs. Elon:
This will be the 14th time these two schools will meet with CCU holding a 12-1 advantage. Coastal has won the last 11 meetings between the two schools, including last years 8-2 win in Conway.
Scouting South Carolina:
The Gamecocks (24-20) are coming off a great weekend where they won both games from Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas. It was the first winning SEC series for South Carolina this season. Junior McKenna Hughes leads the USC offense in hits (37), RBI (24), batting average (.285) and doubles (10). Freshman Christie Hamilton has made an immediate impact on the pitching staff. She leads the team with 12 wins, 13 complete games, 128 strikeouts and 116.2 innings pitched.
Series vs. South Carolina:
South Carolina has dominated the series between the state rivals. The Gamecocks are 37-3 lifetime against Coastal, although CCU defeated South Carolina in the last meeting between these two schools in 2005 by the score 3-2 in the championship game of the Gamecock Invitational.
Scouting Charleston Southern:
The Buccaneers (9-31, 0-4 Big South) were swept by Appalachian State by the scores of 4-2 and 5-1 over the weekend. Senior Katie McKay leads the team in several offensive categories including batting average (.317), hits (39) and RBI (24). Junior pitcher Amanda Noble leads the staff in wins (4), complete games (13), innings pitched (136.1) and strikeouts (88).
Series vs. Charleston Southern:
Coastal leads the all-time series between these two conference rivals 43-20 including winning the last three meetings. Last season, CCU swept the Buccaneers by the combined score of 13-0.
Doyle Named the Big South Pitcher of the Week:
Coastal Carolina's redshirt junior softball pitcher Christine Doyle was named the Big South Conference's New Balance Softball Pitcher of the Week, the league office announced this afternoon, April 10.
Doyle had another masterful performance from the circle this past week. She went 2-0 on the week with 0.50 ERA, allowing only 1 earned run in 14 innings. Doyle pitched a solid game against a good hitting College of Charleson team (team batting average of .304 with 36 home runs) on April 4. She went the distance, allowing three runs but only one earned with four strikeouts. The win allowed Doyle to reached double figures in wins for the second time in career after injuries ended her season each of the last two years. Doyle was absolutely spectacular in the first game of Coastal's doubleheader against North Carolina State on April 6. She set the tone by allowing only six hits with eight strikeouts in shutting out a Wolfpack team that had only been shutout seven times all season long in 47 games. For Doyle, it was her 10th complete game of the season and the fourth time she has recorded a shutout this year as she helped CCU to a 3-1 record on the week
Closing In Quickly:
Head Coach Jess Dannelly is closing in on milestone win number 600. Dannelly is vying to become only the 31st active coach to get to 600 Division I softball victories. He currently has 598 career wins.
Among the Nations Best:
Senior Meagen Johnson is currently tied for 10th nationally with 13 home runs this season.
Hostetlers Stellar Afternoon:
The current group of Coastal players have only faced Elon once but it was a great showing as CCU prevailed 8-2 last season. Senior Sara Hostetler was 2-for-3 with a home run and a career-high five RBI on the afternoon.
Allens On the Prowl:
Last season at the Gamecock Invitational, senior Katey Allen had tremendous pair of games against South Carolina. She was 3-for-6 with a run scored in the two games for Coastal as CCU won the Gamecock Invitational by defeating the Gamecocks 3-2 in the championship game.
Johnson Jolts Charleston Southern:
Senior Meagen Johnson has had a very good career feasting on the pitchers from Charleston Southern. Johnson has a career average of .540 with seven hits in 13 career at-bats. Of Johnsons seven hits, five have been for extra bases with four doubles and a triple.
In a Previous Meeting:
In last year two wins against Charleston Southern, Meagen Johnson exploded for three doubles and four RBI. Senior Sara Hostetler also had a great doubleheader with four runs scored.
Three Times as Nice:
Sophomore Ashley Gerdts with her three home run this past week against College of Charleston and North Carolinia State, has now hit nine round trippers this year, which is three times as many as she had during her freshman season and gives her 12 career home runs.
Junior Kimberly Cillis has been steady at first base this season. She sports a perfect fielding percentage with 274 putouts and has recorded 14 assists.
She Holds the Key:
Over the last four years, nobody controls the fourtunes of Coastal more than senior third baseman Sara Hostetler. In wins over the last four years, she has hit a scalding .348 average with five home runs and 57 RBI. In comparison, in the losses, Hostetlers batting average is .205 with a home run and 12 runs-batted-in.
They Cant Wait to Get to the Road:
Coastal has several batters that seem to love the opposing pitcher on the road. Senior Sara Hostetler has a team-best .375 batting average while senior Meagen Johnson has a team-best three home runs and 10 RBI during road contests.
Right at Home:
Senior Sara Hostetler has also played well at the friendly confines of CCU Softball Field this season. She leads the team in hits (16) and runs scored (15). Sophomore Ashley Gerdts has also hit well on the home field this season as she leads the team in batting average (.444), home runs (6) and total bases (35).
The Light Will Lead You:
Senior Meagen Johnson and sophomore Ashley Gerdts have both hit well in the day light this season. Johnson has the highest batting average on the team at .369 and the most runs-batted-in with 35, while in day games Gerdts is second on team with eight home runs.
Stingy During the Day:
This season, redshirt junior pitcher Christine Doyle has been quite stingy during the day. During day games, she has a 9-4 record with a 1.27 ERA in 77 innings of work.
Senior Meagen Johnson has crushed the ball during the night as well. She is batting an amazing .571 with four home runs and nine RBI when the sun goes down. Fellow senior Katey Allen has also hit well at night this year, as she has a batting average of .400 with four hits in 10 at bats.
After missing most of the last two seasons with injuries, redshirt junior Christine Doyle has been getting stronger over the last few weeks. In the last five weeks, covering 16 appearances, Doyle has thrown 82.1 innings and compiled a 1.11 ERA with 11 wins, 63 strikeouts and a .205 opponents batting average.
Johnsons Among Conference Leaders:
Senior Meagen Johnson is currently ranked among the Big South Conference leaders in numerous offensive categories. She leads the conference in runs-batted-in (44) and is second in home runs (13) and doubles (10) while placing fourth in batting average (.398).
Junior centerfielder Danyelle Gerdts is currently tied for the lead in the conference in triples (5) while ranking third in runs scored (29).
Coastal currently leads the Big South Conference in doubles with 58. The team is second in triples with nine and second in home runs with 40.
Junior Kristina Sheppard has made multiple starts at four positions this season. Sheppard has started at third, second, left and centerfield this season.
A Balanced Attack:
The first 43 games of the 2006 season has shown Coastal to have a balanced offensive attack. Eleven different Chanticleers have driven in multiple runs in a game this season. Senior Meagen Johnson has a team-best 44 RBI while junior Kristina Sheppard has driven in 26 runs and senior Sara Hostetler has 21 RBI.
No One is Better in the Clutch:
Junior Kristina Sheppard is second on the team with 26 RBI. However, of her 26 runs driven in, 16 have come when there have been two outs in an inning.
When runners are on, no batter in the CCU lineup is more dangerous than senior Meagen Johnson. Johnson is batting .520 (26-for-50) this season when runners are on.
The Strikeout Queen:
Redshirt junior Christine Doyle has been the strikeout queen this season for Coastal. In 107 innings covering 24 appearances this season, Doyle has a team-best 83 strikeouts.
Its a Long Drive:
Coastal has shown great power from most of the lineup in the first 44 games of the season. This season nine different Lady Chants have already homered in 29 of those games. That means CCU has hit a home run in 67 percent of its games this year. In comparison, last years squad homered in 30 percent of their games.
A Record Number:
With the Lady Chants latest eight home run barrage last week, CCU has now broken the all-time school record for home runs in a season. The old record was 36 by the 2000 team.
The Lady Chants have now scored 193 runs this season, 41 more than last years team.
Leading off the right way:
Since being inserted as the leadoff batter 23 games ago, senior Sara Hostetler is hitting .365 with a home run, 12 RBI and an on-base percentage of .442. Coastal is also 16-7 in games in which Hostetler leads off.
Need to Avoid the Big Inning Especially Early:
Coastal has given up four or more runs in an inning five times through the first 43 games. In their 19 losses, CCU has put itself in an early hole as it has given up 37 runs in the first two innings.
We Got Ya Late:
Coastal has shown great fight and determination in the latter stages of games this season. In the sixth inning and later, CCU has outscored its opponents 44-21.
There are several keys to Coastal winning 23 of its last 30 games. CCU has had a strong offense that walked 97 times and averaged better than five runs a game. The Lady Chants pitching staff has also played a part as the group has only yielded 46 earned runs in 198 innings from the circle.
Johnson Named Big South Player of the Week:
Coastal Carolina's senior softball player Meagen Johnson was named the Big South Conference's Choice Hotels Softball Player of the Week the league office announced this afternoon, April 3. This was the second consecutive week that Johnson has been named the Big South Player of the Week. Last week, March 27, Johnson was named both the Big South Player and Pitcher of the Week. This is also the third consecutive week that a Coastal softball player has been honored by the league office. Two weeks ago, March 20, senior Sara Hostetler was also named the Big South Player of the Week.
Johnson had a great week of action as both a hitter and in the circle. Johnson started her week by going 3-for-6 with two runs scored, five runs-batted-in and a walk in a sweep of Campbell on March 27. Johnson hit the game-winning three-run blast in the sixth inning to propel Coastal to a 6-4 win in the first game over Campbell. Johnson also picked up the win as she started the first game against the Fighting Camels, going five innings and surrendering no earned runs, with six punch outs. In the split doubleheader with conference rival Birmingham-Southern on April 2, Johnson was 3-for-7 with four RBI, as well as starting the first game in the circle against the Panthers. Johnson hit the two-run game-winning home run in the first inning in the second game of the afternoon to propel CCU to an 8-0 victory over the BSC. Johnson's three hits against Birmingham-Southern were the third time this season she had tallied three hits in a game.
For the week, Johnson hit .462 in four games, recording six hits and nine RBI on the week. She had two multi-hit games and two multi-RBI games. Her slugging percentage was 1.231, while she had an on-base percentage of .500 in aiding Coastal to a 3-1 record.
Trouncing of the Sun:
Coastal swept Campbell University in their doubleheader on March 28. With the two wins over the Fighting Camels, CCU improved to 6-0 against the Atlantic Sun Conference this season having outscored Gardner-Webb, North Florida and Campbell in those games a combined 54-13.
Johnson Named the Big Souths Player and Pitcher of the Week:
Coastal Carolina senior Meagen Johnson pulled off the rare feat of being named both the Big Souths Player and Pitcher of the Week for the week ending March 26.
Johnson had a great week of action as both a hitter and in the circle. Johnson started her week by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, six runs-batted-in and two walks in a sweep of Gardner-Webb. Johnson also picked up the win in relief in the first game against the Bulldogs, going four innings and only surrendering two hits with five punch outs. In the swept doubleheader from North Florida, Johnson was 3-for-6 with two RBI, as well as pitching a complete game three-hit shutout in the first game against the Ospreys. At the ECU Classic over the weekend, Johnson was 4-for-15 with three home runs and five RBI in against a stacked field that included #6 California. Johnson homered in all three days of the tournament, including the dramatic game-tying sixth inning blast against Cal. Johnson also pitched two-and-a-third innings in relief against East Carolina and threw an eight inning complete game against Penn State.
For the week, Johnson hit .400 in nine games, recording 10 hits and 13 RBI. She had three multi-hit games and three multi-RBI games. Her slugging percentage was .880, while she had an on-base percentage of .433 in aiding Coastal to a 5-4 record.
In the circle, Johnson's weekly totals were 21.1 innings pitched, 20 strikeouts, 12 hits allowed and a 0.66 earned-run average. She appeared in four games, with two complete games and a 2-1 record.
This was the second time Johnson has been named the Big South Pitcher of the Week during her career, as she also captured the award last season.
On a Hot Streak:
Senior Sara Hostetler had her team season-best 10-game hitting streak end against #6 California. In the 10 games, Hostetler was 16-for-31 with 13 runs scored, a home run and eight RBI.
Ending the Game in Style:
Coastal ended three games during the week of March 20-27 on a home run. Senior Brittany Nelson ended the Coastal 14-3 win over Gardner-Webb with a grand slam. Sophomore Ashley Gerdts did the same feat in the 15-4 win over North Florida and to top the week off senior Meagen Johnson ended CCUs 8-0 win over Buffalo with a two-run shot.
Doyle Twirls a Gem:
Redshirt junior Christine Doyle flirted with her second no-hitter of the season and had to settle for a one-hit shutout of Buffalo on March 26. The blemishes on Doyles nearly perfect day were a walk in the third inning and an infield single in the sixth.
Hostetler Named the Big South Conferences Player of the Week:
Senior Sara Hostetler had a great week of action for the week ending March 19 as Coastal swept a pair of games from both UNC Wilmington and conference rival Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. In her two games against UNCW, Hostetler reached base four times with two hits, two walks, two runs scored and two runs-batted-in. The senior third baseman continued her strong play in the CCU sweep of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, as she went 5-for-7 with three runs scored, five RBI and a walk in the two games.
For the week, Hostetler had a batting average of .538 as she was 7-for-13 with six RBI, five runs scored and three walks. Further, she had a slugging percentage of .769 and and posted an on-base percentage of .588.
The Big Four:
Coastal Carolina pitching staff had tremendous week as a whole for the week of March 13-19. The four starters each threw a complete game with a no-hitter, a one-hitter and two three-hitters. For the week, the group only allowed one run on seven hits in 25 innings of work. The team earned-run average for the week was a miniscule 0.28 as opponents only batted .086 against the Lady Chants pitching. The week began as senior Brittany Nelson threw a complete game three-hit shutout with four strikeouts against UNC Wilmington in a five-inning run-ruled 8-0 victory. The second game saw senior Meagen Johnson go all eight innings, only giving up one run on three hits with nine strikeouts in CCUs 2-1 win over UNC Wilmington in the swept doubleheader. In the third game of the week, against Big South foe Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, redshirt junior Christine Doyle was simply unhittable. She went all five-innings in the no-hitter and was a hit batter away from throwing a perfect game. She struck out five in the 9-0 five inning victory. Junior Danyelle Gerdts was almost as good in the second game of the doubleheader against TAMU-CC. She threw a complete game, one-hit shutout in which a runner didnt get past first base and she struck out seven Islanders.
Redshirt junior Christine Doyles no-hitter against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was the first no-hitter thrown by a CCU hurler since Doyle threw a perfect game against Winthrop on April 27, 2003.
A Good Stretch:
Before the weekends action at the ECU Classic, March 24-26, Coastal had won 16 of its last 17 games. This was the best stretch of softball the Lady Chanticleers under Jess Dannelly since 1994 when the CCU won 17 out of 18 to open the season.
An Amazing Number:
CCUs pitching staff, through the first 43 games, has only yielded seven home run and only 51 total extra base hits, in comparison the CCU offense has 41 home runs and 108 extra hits.
As Fast as We Need to Be:
In the first 43 games, CCU has yet to ground into a double play while turning the trick four times themselves.
We Pick Our Spots:
Coastal may not run often, as it only has 13 stolen bases on the season, but it is only on 15 attempts.
All Good Things Must Come to an End:
Coastal had its eight-game winning streak snapped with the loss to Tennessee Tech in the Gold Bracket game at the USF-Invitational. The eight-game winning streak was the longest for CCU since 2003 when it also won eight games in a row.
Knocking off the Giants:
When the Lady Chants knocked off #23 Virginia Tech 4-3 on March 10, it was the first win for Coastal over a ranked opponents since the 2004 season when CCU knocked off then #14 Oregon 2-1.
Thats What I Call a Good Week:
Coastal Carolina softball completed an impressive week where it went 7-1 including wins over Illinois, Central Michigan, Fordham, #23 Virginia Tech and Chattanooga in the USF-Spring Break Invitational from March 9-11. Coastal won all five of its games in pool play to advance into Gold Bracket with some of the top tier teams nationally. CCU lost a heartbreaker to Tennessee Tech 4-3 in nine innings, but even the loss could not spoil what a tremendous week the Lady Chants had. Senior Meagen Johnson had a memorable tournament, as she had a .583 batting average with three home runs, 10 RBI, nine walks, a 1.500 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .762 against Coastals competition.
Following the action against Alabama, seniors Brittany Nelson and Meagen Johnson were both named to the Crimson Classic All-Tournament Team.
Junior Kristina Sheppard drove in a career-high five runs in Coastal 6-0 win over Ohio State in the consolation game of the Crimson Classic on March 5. Sheppard had a three-run RBI triple in the third inning and a two-run single in the sixth to led the team to victory. Senior starting pitcher Brittany Nelson was spectacular for CCU, going the distance striking out eight while scattering five hits.
A Different Trend:
The 2006 season was the first time since 1998 that Coastal had opened a season at home. In the previous two years, redshirt junior pitcher Christine Doyle had been the opening day pitcher on the road, so two trends were broken when junior Danyelle Gerdts started the first game of the season.
Coastal Picked Second in Big South:
Coastal Carolinas softball team, led by head coach Jess Dannelly, has been picked for second place in the 2006 Big South Conferences softball preseason poll as voted by the Leagues head softball coaches and sports information directors, the league office announced, Jan. 24.
The preseason favorite this season is Winthrop, who garnered seven first place votes and 84 points overall to narrowly finish ahead of the Lady Chanticleers, who received three first place votes and 81 points overall. Winthrop was the conferences regular season champion and were the runner-up in the Big South Tournament last season. Radford received four first place votes and 76 points to finish a close third. The top three were followed by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (46 points), Birmingham-Southern (45 points), Liberty (44 points), and Charleston Southern (16 points).
Libertys junior shortstop Jessica Moore, who was the 2005 Big South Softball Player of the Year, was voted as the Conferences Preseason Player of the Year. Moore received six first place votes and 19 points overall to finish ahead of Coastal Carolinas senior pitcher/designated player Meagen Johnson, who had two first place votes and six points overall.
Head Coach Jess Dannelly: Coastal Carolina head coach Jess Dannelly (South Carolina 80) is in his 19th season as the mentor of the Chanticleers. He has a career record of 598-429. Coach Dannelly won his 550th career softball game May 14, 2004 and is 30th among active softball coaches in victories and 61st in winning percentage.
Coastal Carolinas softball team returns 15 letterwinners from last years team including its entire pitching rotation from a year ago. The returning rotation is seniors Meagen Johnson and Brittany Nelson, redshirt junior Christine Doyle and juniors Danyelle Gerdts and Trish Kretchman.
Also returning to the senior-laden squad: are seniors Sara Hostetler, Lynee Hastings, Kelly Feely, Irene Finley, Katey Allen, juniors Kristina Sheppard, Kimberly Cillis, Carla Hood and sophomores Allison Cantrell and Ashley Gerdts.
Newcomers Dot Coastals Roster:
Coastals rosters also has something new as seven new players have joined the squad this season. Redshirt junior Glynn Tolleson and redshirt sophomore Erika Trujillo are both eligible to play after sitting out last season. Joining the team this season are freshmen Kelsey Riffel, Brittany Birnbaum, Whitney Gibson, Candra Witt and Tara Albohn.
Its a Sisterly Thing:
Redshirt junior catcher Glynn Tolleson is the sister of former Lady Chanticleer Morgan Tolleson. Morgan Tolleson played for Coastal from 2002-2003. From the circle, she appeared in 24 games and compiled a record of 9-9 with a 2.58 earned-run average.
Three Named to All-Big South Team:
Seniors Sara Hostetler and Meagen Johnson were named Big South First Team All-Conference while junior Kimberly Cillis was named Second Team the league office announced May 13, 2005. It was the second time that Hostetler was named to the first team, while Johnson and Cillis each were first-time members of the All-Big South squads.
Milestones on the Horizon:
Coastal Carolinas softball team has several career milestones in reach.
After her two home runs against College of Charleston, senior Meagen Johnson is now tied with current teammate Kelly Feely and former Lady Chanticleer Michelle Hall for sixth place all-time with 15 home runs each. She and Feely are six behind former Lady Chant Sara Graziano for fifth place all-time.
Junior Kristina Sheppard now has 14 career home runs good for 9th place all time at Coastal.
Senior Sara Hostetler now has 36 career doubles, which is fifth on Coastal all-time list only five behind former softball player Cari Rowe for fourth place.
Senior Katey Allen with moved into seventh place with 24 career stolen bases. She is only three behind former Lady Chant Beth Park who finished her career with 27.
Senior pitcher Brittany Nelson has 95 career appearances which places her fifth, only seven behind former Chant Vicki Dulaney for fourth place.
Nelson with 40 complete games trails sixth place by two. Nelsons 37 victories are tied with Stephanie Belden for sixth place.
Nelson has moved into fifth place all-time in innings pitched with 447.2. Former Coastal pitcher Lauren Yates is ahead of her by 104.1.
Redshirt junior Christine Doyle with her eight strikeouts against North Carolina State is now sixth all-time in strikeouts with 288. With 11 wins this season, Doyle has moved into eighth all-time in wins with 36 only one win behind current teammate Brittany Nelson for seventh. Doyle with her save against Campbell, now has two career saves and is ranked fifth on CCUs all-time saves list.
Danyelle Gerdts with her five triples this season is now tied for eighth all-time for three baggers in a single season.
Senior Meagen Johnson with 13 home runs this season is now tied for fourth all-time for home runs in a single seasonat Coastal with former softball player and current CCU assistant coach Sarah Lockett.
Sophomore Ashley Gerdts nine home run this season are the 10th highest single season total all-time at Coastal tied with former Lady Chants Cari Rowe and Sarah Lockett.
Next week, will see Coastal play three home doubleheaders. The Lady Chanticleers begin the week on Wednesday, April 19 with a non-conference doubleheader against the visiting College of Charleston Cougars at 4 p.m. CCU then has a pair of weekend conference doubleheaders starting on Saturday, April 22 against Liberty at 1 p.m. Coastal wraps up the week by welcoming in Radford for a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Sunday, April 23.