CCU softball splits at UNC Wilmington

Wilmington, NC - From Coastal Carolina University

WILMINGTON, NC - The Coastal Carolina University softball team (8-10) split Wednesday's doubleheader at UNC Wilmington, winning the opener 4-2, but falling in game two 9-6.

The Chanticleers picked up their first road win of the season at UNCW, as eight starters had hits, including six with multiple hits.

The Chanticleers' bats started strong, recording nine hits in game one and posting three runs in a productive second inning to take the lead. Cacia Pierre got things started in the second for Coastal by singling down the right field line. Olivia Piccirillo followed Pierre with a double, also down the right field line, putting a pair of runners in scoring position with one out. Mecaela Ballard recorded the third hit in a row for the Chants with a RBI hit up the middle, scoring Pierre for a 1-0 lead. Ballard used her speed to steal second and a bad throw by the Seahawks sent her to third and scored Piccirillo, giving the Chants a 2-0 lead. Sarah Maples drew a walk and Alyssa Tornatore sent Ballard home after UNCW took the easy out at second on a fielder's choice, making it 3-0 Coastal.

The Seahawks answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the second, recording their only two hits of the game.

Coastal Carolina drove in its fourth and final run of the game in the fourth. Stacy Snellings led off with a walk. Pierre put down a sacrifice bunt, but a UNCW error allowed Pierre to get on base, giving the Chants runners on first and third. Piccirillo sent Snellings home on a sacrifice fly to left to up the advantage back to two at 4-2. It looked as though Coastal was going to put another run on the board after Maples singled through the right side, but Pierre was thrown out at third to end the inning.

Maples finished the first game 2-for-3 at the plate, while Ballard went a perfect 2-for-2. Ashley Frederick picked up her fifth win of the season, allowing two runs on two hits and striking out four.

Coastal picked up where it left off in the second game, grabbing a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Olivia Williams started the second inning by reaching base on an error and Snellings followed with her 11th walk of the season, putting two runners on base for Piccirillo. Piccirillo grounded out but advanced both runners for Ballard, who tallied her first double of the season and sent both Williams and Snellings home for the early margin.

The Seahawks cut the Chants lead to one in the bottom of the second and took its first lead of the series with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to go up 3-2. Snellings tied the game back up at three with a solo home run to right-center field in the top of the fourth. UNC Wilmington then followed with a big fourth inning, adding three runs and taking a 6-3 lead.

The Chanticleers rallied back in the top of the fifth to tie the game again at 6-6. Tornatore led off the inning with a walk and Jazmin Daigle reached base on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a throwing error by the second baseman. With a runner at second, Evans came up with a big double, sending Daigle home and cutting the UNCW lead to two. Brittany Bailey came in to pinch run for Evans and advanced to third on a groundout by Pierre. Williams then drew a walk to give Ashley Pisone the opportunity to pinch run for her. Pisone stole second and Snellings came up with a timely hit with two outs to bring home Bailey and Pisone, tying the game 6-6.

UNC Wilmington would answer back in the bottom of the fifth with another three runs to take the lead for the final time. Coastal would get one last chance after loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, but could not capitalize.

The Chanticleers are back on the road Sunday, March 14 at College of Charleston for a doubleheader. The first game is slated to begin at 1 p.m.