ELON, N.C. Coastal Carolina swept a softball doubleheader from Elon, 4-3
in eight innings and 13-6, Sunday afternoon at East Field, clinching the top spot in the Big South Conference standings.
With the victory, the Chanticleers (27-16, 8-2 Big South) locked up the number one seed in next month's Big South tournament. Elon (15-34, 5-3) currently leads Radford (16-39, 5-5) by one game for second place.
In the opener, Lauren Yates bunted home Holly Lee in the eighth inning to snap a 3-3 stalemate and lift the two-time defending Big South champion to the victory. The Phoenix outhit the Chanticleers 10-9 while Coastal Carolina stranded 16 baserunners to Elon's 11.
Yates (8-4) pitched three innings in relief for the win, giving up one hit, one walk and no runs while fanning four batters. Phoenix reliever Megan Borgaard (6-12) was charged with the loss after surrendering one earned run on eight hits and two walks in five frames. She logged two strikeouts.
Jennifer Schmidt (2-for-4, run, RBI, HR, BB), Kimberly Josephson (2-for-4, RBI) and Amanda DeGrendele (2-for-3) all turned in multi-hit outings for Coastal Carolina in the first game. Pam Brock (2-for-4, RBI), Erin Bock (2-for-3, BB), Danielle Concepcion (2-for-5) and Jenny Gustin (1-for-3, 2 runs, BB) paced the Phoenix.
In the nightcap, the Chanticleers poured on six runs in the sixth inning to turn a 7-5 edge into a commanding 13-5 advantage. Coastal Carolina outslugged the Phoenix 15-9 and left nine players on base to eight for Elon, which committed the game's lone error.
Yates (9-4) again came on in relief to earn the victory, scattering three earned runs on four hits in four and 1/3 innings. She walked three Phoenix and fanned two. Elon starter Amanda Zentner (9-15) lasted just two innings, surrendering five earned runs on six hits and one base on balls.
Josephson (4-for-5, run, 2 RBI), Lee (3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBI, HR, BB) and Schmidt (2-for-5, 2 runs, RBI) keyed the Chanticleers. Suzanne Speed (3-for-4, run) led the Phoenix.
On Wednesday, Elon hosts East Carolina in a non-league twinbill at 2 p.m. while South Carolina hosts Coastal Carolina in a non-conference doubledip at 5 p.m.