The Lady Chanticleers (38-20, 10-2 Big South) advanced to a regional for the first time since 2001 and the fourth time overall. Coastal is coming off season where it won 38 games and won both the Big South regular season and conference championship title. The Lady Chants defeated Radford 5-3 in eight innings on the dramatic three-run home run off the bat of sophomore Ashley Gerdts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) to win the Aeropostale Big South Conference Tournament title for the fifth time.
Coastal is led offensively by senior slugger Meagen Johnson (Georgetown, S.C./Georgetown (Furman)), who leads the team in batting average (.396), hits (53), home runs (20), slugging percentage (.925), on-base percentage (.517) and walks (34). Johnson is the reigining Big South Player of the Year and First Team All-Big South selection as a designated player. Seniors Sara Hostetler (Albuquerque, N.M./Valley) and Kelly Feely (Livermore, Calif./Granda) and redshirt junior Christine Doyle (Rio Rico, Ariz/Immaculate Heart Academy) were first team all-Big South Selections, while juniors Kristina Sheppard (Galveston, Texas/Ball) and Danyelle Gerdts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) earned second team honors.
On the mound, Doyle is 20-7 with a 1.16 earned-run average and leads the Lady Chants with 169.1 innings pitched and 132 strikeouts. She was a first team All-Big South selection and named the MVP of the Big South Tournament.
Florida State (41-29) earned an at large bid to the NCAA Regionals. The Seminoles are led by junior Yuruby Alicart who has team high 18 doubles, 11 home runs and 52 RBI. Sophomore Tiffany McDonald has a team best 28 wins, 36 complete games and 300.2 innings from the circle.
Georgia (51-13) is led by junior Kellie Middleton's .412 batting average, 89 hits and 36 stolen bases. The team batting average for the Bulldogs is .323 with 58 home runs. Georgia won the SEC Eastern title this season with a 24-6 record.
Georgia Southern (34-33) won all three games on Saturday, May 13 to capture the Southern Conference Tournament title. Freshman Shanita Brown leads the Eagles with a .408 batting average and 37 stolen bases. From the circle, sophomore Melissa Laliberte leads the team in ERA (1.86), complete games (17) and innings pitched (180.1) and is tied for the team lead in wins (15).
The Lady Chants have faced off against 11 teams (North Carolina, Kent State, Virginia Tech, Tennessee Tech, Tennessee, Alabama, Ohio State, North Carolina State, California, Illinois State, Penn State) that made the NCAA Tournament.
All-tournament passes for the 2006 NCAA Softball Athens Regional at Georgia are currently on sale with chairback seats $30 and general admission seats $24.
Passes can be purchased at the University of Georgia Ticket Office (877-542-1231) or on www.georgiadogs.com. Single day tickets will be available on the day of the competition - $10 for chairback seats, $8 for general admission, and $3 for ages seven and below. Groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets for $5 a person.
The winner of the Athens Regionals will face the winner of the Hempstead (NY) Regional in the Super Regionals from May 26-27.