RADFORD, Va.-The CoastalCarolinaUniversity softball team dropped Game Three of its series with the Radford Highlanders this afternoon, Sat., April 11, losing 3-2 in Radford.The Chants took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, but the lead eventually evaporated and resulted in the loss.
Radford (25-11. 8-1 BSC) got things started off early, as Leigh Godfrey reached on a Coastal Carolina error. The next batter, Kristin Shifflett, doubled to deep right over the head of right fielder Ashley Pisone (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield), who had a solid relay throw to nail Godfrey at the plate for the first out of the inning. Chanticleer (11-27, 2-7 BSC) starter Ivy McCranie (Nashville, Ga./Berrien) then forced Sarah Himan to pop out for the second out. The following batter, Nicole Beal, hit a line drive to left that outfielder Stacy Snellings (Richmond, Va./Mills E. Godwin) who made a diving catch for the third out of the frame.
Coastal Carolina would get on the board with one swing of the stick in the third. After Snooks retired the first batter of the inning, Pisone celebrated her 20th birthday in a big way with her second home run of the season to left centerfield to give the Chanticleers the 1-0 lead.
McCranie got herself into a bases-loaded, one out jam in the third. After recording the first out of the inning, Godfrey singled up the middle. Next up was Shifflett, who was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out. Himan would follow with an infield single to load the bases with one dead. However, McCranie dug deep and cut off Godfrey at home for the second out of the inning. The freshman would then fan Everhart to end the inning, avoiding any damage.
In the RU fourth, McCranie retired Michelle Beal with a pop out and then fanned Creasy. The next batter, Keefe, ripped a two-out double off the right centerfield wall to put the tying run on second base. The next batter, Lauren Williams singled home Keefe to knot the game at 1-1. On the very next pitch, Leigh Godfrey launched a homer to deep centerfield to give Radford the 3-1 advantage.
The Chanticleers seemed poised to chip away at the two-run deficit in the sixth, as Pisone led off the inning with a walk, and quickly advanced to second on a Mecaela Ballard (Groves, Texas/Galveston) sacrifice bunt. Brittany Birnbaum (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala) then followed with a single to left, putting runners on first and third with one out. Next up was Coastal Carolina’s top hitter, Michelle Evans (Upland, Calif./Upland), who field out to right to drive in Pisone and cut the Radford lead in half at 3-2. Snellings then ripped a double off the right field wall, missing a home run by less than three feet to put runners on second and third with two dead. The two-bagger also knocked out Snooks in favor of Chelsea Kelley, who went on to fan Morgan Dodd (Chattanooga, Tenn./Girls Preparatory) to end the inning.
The Chanticleers headed into the top of the seventh trailing 3-2. Kelley was able to retire the side in order, as she earned her third save of the season in the 3-2 victory.
McCranie fell to 1-4 with the loss. The freshman was effective in the circle for the second day in a row, as she threw a complete game, allowing eight hits and three earned runs. Snooks got the win and improved to 11-4. The Highlander pitcher allowed four two runs on four hits in 5.2 innings of work.
Coastal Carolina returns to action on Wed., April 15 as the squad travels to Charleston, S.C. to take on College of Charleston, with the first pitch being at 5 p.m. The two teams previously split a doubleheader on March 22 with CofC taking game one 10-6 and Coastal Carolina winning game two, 9-8.