Coastal Carolina softball splits at USC Upstate

From Coastal Carolina University

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina University softball team (9-13) split at USC Upstate Tuesday, March 16, dropping the first game 4-0, but picking up the split in game two, 4-2.

In both games, it was a pitching duel between the Chanticleers and the Spartans, with 28 combined strikeouts between four pitchers.

Katelin Edwards got the start in the circle in the opener and pitched her fourth complete game of the season.  Edwards was nearly perfect, pitching a no-hitter up until the sixth inning when USC Upstate got its one and only hit of the game.  She was hot in the first three innings, throwing 28 strikes in just 38 total pitches.

In game two, Ashley Frederick got the starting nod and had a great outing, improving to 6-7 in her eighth complete game.  Frederick finished the game with five strikeouts, allowing just two runs on four hits.

USC Upstate's Morgan Childers picked her ninth win in game one, allowing just two hits, but took the loss in game two after allowing two runs on four hits.  Childers was relieved by Amber Hamilton in game two, letting two more Chant runs cross the plate on three hits.

The sixth inning was big for both teams as a combined nine runs on the day were scored in the sixth.  In game one, it was all USC Upstate as the Spartans led off with a walk, Edwards' only walk of the game.  The Spartans put two runners on base as Ericka Harris reached on a fielder's choice followed by a Coastal error to load the bases.  Another fielder's choice brought in the first run and a throwing error drove in another, giving USC Upstate a 2-0 lead with one out.  Edwards gave up a two-run home run to Lauren Quevedo to make the lead 4-0.  Coastal got out of the inning with two ground outs, but it was all the Spartans needed to take game one.

In game two, Coastal took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth after Olivia Piccirillo led off with a double to the center field fence.  Alyssa Tornatore moved Piccirillo to third with a sacrifice bunt and Mecaela Ballard drove in the run with a single to the shortstop.

The sixth-inning rally went in Coastal's favor in the second game with Jazmin Daigle drawing a lead-off walk.  Michelle Evans reached base on a fielder's choice, but Daigle was out at second, retiring the lead-off runner. After Cacia Pierre singled up the middle to put runners on first and second, Cass Stuart came in to pinch run. Piccirillo loaded the bases by drawing a walk and Tornatore came up with a clutch double, bringing in Stuart and Pierre for a 3-0 Coastal lead.  The Chanticleers did not stop there as Ashley Pisone reached base, scoring Piccirillo and moving Tornatore to third.  With a 4-0 lead and the bases loaded, the Chants tried to cushion their lead even more but could not come up with the hits.

USC Upstate would score two runs of its own in the bottom of the sixth off a two-run dinger, but it would not be enough as Frederick took care of the remaining batters to snap Coastal's four-game losing skid.

Daigle and Piccirillo had good games, each getting a hit in both games.  Sarah Maples went 2-for-3 in the second game along with five other Chants who also got hits.

Coastal Carolina returns home for a 14-game homestand, beginning with the CCU Softball Classic March 19-21.  The Chants will face Buffalo, Houston Baptist, Oakland and Sacred Heart in the tournament.  The first game for Coastal is scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, March 19 against Buffalo.