Johnson dominate performance at the plate nearly overshadowed redshirt junior Christine Doyle's (Rio Rico, Ariz./Immaculate Heart Academy) (16-7) steady performance from the mound. Doyle started and went the first six innings, while limited the Flames to two hits and no walks with seven punch outs.
Coastal started the scoring in the bottom of the second inning as junior Kristina Sheppard (Galveston, Texas/Ball) singled to right to start the frame. Sheppard moved all the way to third as Doyle reach on a fielding error from the Liberty second baseman, Dawn Jeffs, off an attempted sacrifice bunt. After the next two were retired senior Sara Hostetler (Albuquerque, N.M./Valley) single home Sheppard with a line drive over the first baseman's glove and into right field for the first run of the afternoon.
CCU would add two more runs in the third inning, as Johnson's blasted a one-out home run to right field. Sophomore Ashley Gerdts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) followed with a walk and came all the way into score from first on Doyle's double to the right-center field gap. For Doyle it was her first hit of the 2006 season.
The Lady Chants added another run in the fourth inning as Hostetler walked to lead off the inning. She moved to second on the bunt single from sophomore Allison Cantrell (McDonough, Ga./Eagle's Landing). After a fly out both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. Johnson was then intentionally walked to load the bases. A pass ball from the Liberty catcher scored Hostetler from third and gave CCU a 4-0 advantage.
Johnson would finish off the scoring and add to her school record in the sixth inning with a one-out line drive home run to left field. Johnson has now hit 17 home runs this season including four in conference play.
Johnson finished off her day by striking out the side in relief in the seventh inning to preserve the win. Terra Lowe (14-8) suffered the loss for Liberty going 2.2 innings, allowing five hits and three runs.
Hostetler and Johnson led the offensive attack for CCU as both were a perfect 2-for-2 with a pair of walks.
Coastal's softball team will close out the regular season with a pair of games against Winthrop on Sunday, May 7 at 2 p.m.. A split by Coastal will guarantee the Lady Chants their first regular season conference title in three seasons and the number one seed in next week's Big South Conference Softball Tournament to be held from May 11-13 in Radford, Va. Liberty will return home to take on Winthrop in a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. on May 8.
Notes: Junior Danyelle Gerdts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) and Cantrell both made returns from injuries with starts in Saturday's game.... Danyelle Gerdts was 1-for-3 while Cantrell was 1-for-4 on the afternoon... Johnson now has 14 multi-hit and multi-RBI games this season... Johnson's 17 home runs this season esclipses the previous record of 15 home runs... Hostetler is now hitting .433 in conference games on the year... Doyle is 5-1 from the circle this year in Big South games with a miniscule 0.54 ERA.