CONWAY, S.C. Holly Lee's hitting and Stephanie Belden's pitching led Coastal Carolina to a 7-0 and 4-3 softball doubleheader sweep of Charleston Southern on Thursday evening at Lady Chants Field. Coastal improves to 23-16 overall and 4-2 in the Big South, while Charleston Southern drops to 17-3 overall and 1-5 in the Conference.
In the opener, Lee belted two three-run homeruns and now leads the Big South with nine round-trippers. While Lee's bat was doing all the needed damage offensively, Belden was continuing her incredible work on the mound. Belden, who has won the Big South's Pitcher of the Week award the past two weeks, pitched a five-hit shutout for the victory.
Dana Jacobs allowed seven hits and four runs to take the loss for Charleston Southern in the opener.
The nightcap was a much different game as Coastal held a 1-0 lead entering the sixth inning. Charleston Southern plated three unearned runs off of Lady Chanticleer starter Lauren Yates in the top of the sixth as CCU had three errors in the inning. Belden came on to get the final two outs of the inning.
The Buccaneers maintained the 3-1 lead entering the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Amanda Degrendele lined a single into left field and was removed for pinch-runner Alexandra Prattes. Kimberly Josephson singled through the left side of the infield and Kelli Julg singled to center to load the bases for Lee.
Jacobs then let go with a wild pitch and Prattes came across home plate to pull Coastal Carolina to within one run. Following an intentional walk to Lee that again loaded the bases, Danielle Jenkins tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center that plated Josephson. Karlye Fortune then lined an infield single off the glove of secondbaseman Jennifer Foster and Julg scored the game winner.
Belden pitched a perfect one and two-thirds inning in relief to improve to 11-4 on the season and notch her seventh consecutive victory. Jacobs (10-25) also took the loss in game two by allowing 11 hits, four runs, and five walks.
Josephson went 5-for-6 in the doubleheader to raise her batting average to .382. Lee's 3-for-6 performance puts her at .393 for the year, while Julg went 4-for-6 and is hitting .333.
Kelly Backert went 2-for-2 in each game, collecting all of the Buccaneer hits in game two, to lead Charleston Southern offensively.
Coastal Carolina will take the weekend off before returning to action on Monday, April 22, at 2:00 p.m. as the Lady Chants host Big South rival Liberty. It will be the final home games of the 2002 season and the final home contests for seniors Belden, Yates, Jenkins and Jennifer Schmidt.