CONWAY, S.C. -- Coastal Carolina's softball team split its doubleheader with Liberty Saturday, April 12 at the CCU Softball Field. The Lady Chanticleers (17-28, 5-3 Big South) cameback from a two-run deficit to win the first game 3-2, but lost the second 1-0.
During Game One, Liberty (9-26-1, 3-2 Big South) score its first run in the top of the third. Amber DePasquale started the Lady Flames' offense with a single to sophomore shortstop Laicole Walker (Wichita, Kan./Wichita Collegiate School). Then with two outs, Beth Bennett singled to right field, which allowed DePasquale make it to third. A costly Coastal error not only allowed for Shannon McKain to reach first, but for DePasquale to score and give Liberty the 1-0 advantage.
The Lady Flames added to their lead in the top fourth. With one out, Leah Cossentino hit a single, but moved to second on a Coastal throwing error. As Elena Lampman got out at first, Cossentino moved to third. DePasquale's two-out single up the middle drove in Cossentino to make it a 2-0 game.
Coastal answered in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run inning. Junior Verity Long-Droppert (Claremont, Australia/Shenton (Western Australia)) began the inning with a walk. Senior Allison Cantrell (McDonough, Ga./Eagle's Landing) doubled to right center and then moved to third as Long-Droppert scored. Cantrell knotted the game up at 2-2 when she scored off a Sarah Ellis wild pitch.
The Lady Chanticleers' offense continued into the fifth inning. Sophomore Alyssa Tornatore (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora) had a lead-off single up the middle. Freshman Jessica Scott (Green Sea, S.C./Green Sea Floyds) came in to pinch run for Tornatore and advanced to second as Walker laid down a bunt to J'nae Jefferson and beat out the throw to first. Junior Brittany Birnbaum's (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala) sacrifice bunt advanced both Scott and Walker one base, while Long-Droppert hit a sacrifice fly to right field that allowed Scott to score the go-ahead run and put CCU up 3-2.
Liberty had a chance to score the game-tying run in the seventh inning. DePasquale singled to Walker and then eventually stole second. She reached third on a Cassie Hendrix sacrifice bunt. After Ashley Williams popped up to Walker, Beth Bennett hit a two-out single to Walker just beyond third base. With DePasquale heading home, Walker threw the ball to freshman catcher Ashley Pisone (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield Area), who tagged DePasquale out at the plate and secured CCU's 3-2 win.
Freshman Ashley Pedersen (Fayetteville, Ga./Whitewater) picked up the win after throwing all seven innings. Both of Liberty's runs were unearned as Pedersen gave up seven hits. Ellis had the loss after also pitching all seven innings. She allowed three runs off four hits.
In Game Two, Coastal and Liberty played through four scoreless innings until the game was interrupted with a 50-minute rain delay. After the delay, both teams remained scoreless through the fifth, but that changed for the Lady Flames in the sixth. Beth Bennett pushed her hitting streak to 17 games as she smacked a lead-off, solo home run to right field for the game's only run.
Tiffani Smith had the win after pitching the final 4.1 innings for the Lady Flames. She allowed just one hit and retired six. Freshman Michelle Evans (Upland, Calif./Upland) picked up the loss after allowing one run off seven hits in five inning. Evans also recorded four strikeouts.
The Lady Chanticleers conclude the series with Liberty with a single game Sunday, April 13. Game time is set for 1 p.m., from the CCU Softball Field.