ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Third-seeded Coastal Carolina softball won its first game of the Big South Conference Tournament, defeating sixth-seeded Charleston Southern 3-1 at Winthrop's Terry Field in Rock Hill, S.C., Thursday, May 8.
All of the game's runs were scored in the first inning. Charleston Southern's Jill Shondel started the game with a bunt and then made her way to third off a Jennifer Brooks single to right center. While Ashley Conway hit into a double play, Shondel scored to put the Lady Buccaneers up 1-0.
Coastal answered in the bottom of the first as junior Verity Long-Droppert (Claremont, Australia/Shenton (Western Australia)) drilled a three-run shot to left field. With one out, junior Brittany Birnbaum (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala) reached base after being hit by a pitch. Senior Allison Cantrell (McDonough, Ga./Eagle's Landing) singled to put two runners on-base for Long-Droppert, whose shot was the seventh of her career and the third against Charleston Southern.
Defensively, the Lady Chanticleers turned three double plays. In addition to the double play in the first inning, Charleston Southern hit into a double play in the third inning as Gail Matsushima lined out to second baseman Long-Droppert, who flipped the ball to shortstop Cantrell to get Jamie Wellons out at second. The game's third double play came as in the top fourth inning as Jennifer Pardue hit a chopper to third baseman sophomore Alicia Irwin (Salina, Kan./Salina South), who stepped on third to get Tatjana Slawson out on the force and then threw the ball to Birnbaum at first to get Pardue out.
Freshman Ashley Pedersen (Fayetteville, Ga./Whitewater) received the win after pitching all seven innings and allowing one run off nine hits. Wellons had the loss after she allowed three runs off four hits in six innings.
Coastal returns to action later on Thursday as the Lady Chanticleers face second-seeded Radford at 5:30 p.m., at Terry Field. The winner of the Coastal-Radford game plays the winner of the Winthrop-Birmingham-Southern game Friday, May 9 at 3 p.m.