Coastal Begins Big South Tourney Title Defense on Thursday
May 8, 2013
CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina softball team was the Big South Conference's preseason favorite and the Chanticleers lived up to that selection by winning their seventh regular-season championship. Now the Chanticleers look to sweep the league's 2013 championships, win their second straight Big South Tournament title and make a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Top-seeded Coastal (34-20) begins pursuit of those goals Thursday when they take on either eighth-seeded Presbyterian (22-30) or ninth-seeded Charleston Southern (13-38) at 2:30 p.m. The Blue Hose and Buccaneers face off in an elimination game Thursday morning at 9 a.m. for the right to play the Chants.
Coastal swept all three of its regular-season meetings against both teams, taking 6-2, 5-1 and 14-2 decisions over Presbyterian and beating Charleston Southern 11-3, 11-2 and 6-5. PC and CSU met just last weekend, with the Buccaneers winning both games on the road.
The Chanticleers, meanwhile, have been off since completing a sweep of Liberty on April 27. They won their last seven Big South games by an average of 5.4 runs. CCU set a school record with 66 home runs, getting 15 from Kory Hayden, 13 from Morgan Noad and 11 from Kiana Quolas. The Chants led the conference in pitching, finishing with a 2.39 team ERA. Quolas had a league-best 1.86 ERA, while Ashley Bagwell and Quolas ranked first and second in strikeouts.
In its second game of the tournament on Friday, Coastal will meet either No. 4 Radford or No. 5 Winthrop. If the Chants win their opener, they will play at 2 p.m. Friday, while a loss Thursday would mean a 9 a.m. game on Friday.
Coastal is seeking a conference-record seventh tournament title and its sixth appearance in the NCAA Regionals. All of the games the first three days will be streamed live on the Big South Network, with Sunday's championship airing on ESPNU. Fans can also follow the action in Coastal's games on Gametracker.