Conway, S.C.- The Coastal Carolina softball team wrapped up its three game set with the Winthrop Lady Eagles this afternoon, Sun. April 26 with a 10-2, five inning loss from Coastal Carolina softball field. The contest was tied at 2-2 heading into the fourth, but a seven run Winthrop fourth inning led to the Chanticleer demise.
The Chanticleers (15-33, 4-11) faced Winthrop hurler Cari Wooldridge, who no-hit the Chanticleers a day ago. Coastal Carolina managed three hits in the inning as sparkplug Mecaela Ballard (Groves, Texas/Galveston) led off the bottom of the first with a bunt single back to the pitcher. Brittany Birnbaum (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala) then moved Ballard to second with a sacrifice bunt. After a Michelle Evans (Upland, Calif./Upland) single, a Stacy Snellings (Richmond, Va./Mills E. Godwin) groundout drove in Ballard to give Coastal Carolina the early 1-0 lead.
The Lady Eagles (26-19, 15-3) evened up the tally quickly, as Mallory Hogan led off the inning with a solo home run over the centerfield fence off of starter Ivy McCranie (Nashville, Ga./Berrien) to knot the contest at 1-1.
In the third, Winthrop took the lead with yet another solo shot, this time coming off the bat of Megan Chapman that soured over the centerfield fence for Winthrop's second run of the contest, and gave the Lady Eagles the 2-1 lead.
In the home half of the third, the Chants loaded the bases with no outs after singles by Ballard, Birnbaum and Evans to kickstart the inning. The next batter, Snellings grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but drove in Ballard for the second time of the game to knot the score at 2-2.
The Lady Eagles broke the game open with one out in the fourth, and were helped along by a pair of Coastal Carolina fielding miscues. Lauren Levinn had the first big hit of the inning, a two-RBI single allow Winthrop to re-take the lead. McCranie was then pulled in favor of reliever Ashley Frederick (Lusby, Md./Patuxent). The first batter she faced, Chapman, hit her second homer of the day, this time a three-run shot to give Winthrop the 7-2. Three batters later, Taylor Wright added another pair of runs on a two-run dinger to left centerfield to stretch the lead to 9-2
Morgan Dodd (Chattanooga, Tenn./Girls Preparatory) led off the fourth with her third double of the season to right field, but was stranded after Wooldridge retired the next three batters to end the threat.
With one out in the fifth, Veronica Berrie tripled down the left field line. The next batter, Lenny Stoddert singled to center to extend the Lady Eagle lead to the final score of 10-2.
Wooldridge improves to 9-9 with the win, as she allowed a pair of runs on seven hits and struck out a pair of Chanticleers in the complete game. McCranie takes the loss (3-7) after tossing 4.2 innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits while mixing in a pair of strikeouts. Frederick retired one batter and allowed four runs, with none being earned, on four hits.
Coastal Carolina will host its final home series of the season against the Liberty Flames on Fri., April 26. Friday's game is slated for a start. A doubleheader ensues on Saturday, as the Chanticleers will honor their two seniors in Kelsey Riffel and Brittany Birnbaum prior to game one. Before game two, the University will bid farewell to longtime head coach Jess Dannelly, who will be coaching his final home game after 22 years at the helm of the Chanticleer softball program.