ELON, N.C. Coastal Carolinas softball team (26-19, 3-1 Big South) picked up two historic wins for Head Softball Coach Jess Dannelly in winning both games of its doubleheader over Elon by the scores 5-4 and 6-3. The two wins allow Coach Dannelly to become the 31st active Division I Coach to 600 career victories. The Lady Chanticleers have now won 25 of their last 32 games.
Senior Kelly Feely (Livermore, Calif./Granada) had a tremendous afternoon to lead the offense with four hits, three home runs and seven runs-batted in for Coastal in the doubleheader.
The Chanticleers broke through first with a pair of runs in the third inning of the first game. Redshirt junior Glynn Tolleson (Tomball, Texas/Tomball (Radford) walked with one out and was on for the ride on senior Meagen Johnson's (Georgetown, S.C./Georgetown (Furman) 14th home run of the season.
CCU added three runs to its lead in the fifth inning. Sophomore Ashley Gerdts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) walked to start the inning. She moved to second on the sacrifice bunt from senior Sara Hostetler (Albuquerque, N.M./Valley). A walk to Tolleson put runners on first and second base. Johnson then hit into a fielder choice that eliminated the leader runner, Ashley Gerdts at third for the second out. Feely uncleared the bases with a three-run home run, scoring Tolleson and Johnson and giving Coastal a 5-0 lead after five innings. For Feely it was her fourth home run of the season.
The Phoenix tightened the game with four runs in the sixth inning, as Paige Goss walked to start the inning. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and came into score the first run of the inning on the double from Debbie Zeigler. Zeigler was pinch ran for by Courtney Milligan and Laurin Smith followed with her fifth home run of the season to cut the deficit to two. After a ground out for the second out, Rebecca Rijavec doubled to left center. She moved to third on wild pitch and scampered home for the fourth run of the inning on a pass ball.
Elon threatened in the seventh inning, after a one-single from Nicole Ellis, redshirt junior Christine Doyle (Rio Rico, Ariz./Immaculate Heart Academy (NJ)) was summoned from the bullpen and retired the next two in orders to record her second save of the season. Johnson (7-3) was the game one winner for Coastal as she went 6.1 innings and struckout six with three earned runs allowed.
The second game began well for the Lady Chanticleers, as Johnson singled to center with one out. She came into score on the second home run of the day from Feely to give CCU an early 2-0 advantage in the first inning.
Coastal scored a pair of runs in the third inning, as Tolleson was hit by a pitch with one out to put a runner on first. She took second on the single up the middle from Johnson and then stole third to put runners on the corners. Johnson moved to second on Feely's ground out to the pitcher. Tolleson scored the first run of the inning on senior Brittany Nelson's (Flower Mound, Texas/Marcus) two-out single up the middle. Junior Kristina Sheppard (Galveston, Texas/Ball) followed with a single through the right side to score Johnson for the fourth run of the game.
Elon answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame, as Tracey Dahlen reached first on one-out fielder's choice. After an infield popout, she came into score, all the way from first, on the double to right-center off the bat of Laurin Smith for the first Elon run of the game.
The Phoenix cut into the lead with a run in the fourth inning. Rijavec start the trouble with a leadoff single. After a foul out to the catcher, she moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and came in to score the second Elon run on two-out single from Nicole Ellis.
Another Feely blast in the fifth inning gave Coastal its final two runs. Johnson's two-out walked put a runner on first. Feely followed with her second home run of the game and third of the afternoon to give CCU a 6-2 lead. It was her sixth home run of the season.
Nelson (5-5) was the game two winner for Coastal as she went the six innings with three runs allowed and seven strikeouts. Doyle came in with the bases loaded in the seventh and retired the next three in order, with only a fielder's choice plating an inherited run, to pick up her second save of the day and third of the season
Coastal's softball team next takes the field on Thursday, April 13 against South Carolina in a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m.
Notes: Redshirt sophomore outfielder Erika Trujillo (Littleton, Colo./Dakota Ridge (Northern Colorado)) made her Coastal debut with an at bat in the first game.... Coastal added to its record setting home run total with four more blasts today, the Lady Chanticleers have now hit 45 home runs this season... The 26 wins this season are two more than Coastal had last year... Johnson's 14 home runs this season are tied for the second most ever hit at Coastal in a single season.