CCU crowned Softball Classic Champions

From Coastal Carolina University

CONWAY, S.C. - The Coastal Carolina University softball team defeated Sacred Heart, 3-2 in a hard-fought battle Sunday, March 21, and was crowned the CCU Softball Classic Champions after going undefeated in the event.  The Chanticleers improved to .500 on the season at 13-13 while Sacred Heart fell back to .500 at 9-9.

Katelin Edwards got the start in the circle for the Chanticleers, allowing two runs on four hits while improving to 5-5 with the win.

Coastal Carolina took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second.  Freshman Olivia Piccirillo led off with a single through the infield and Ashley Pisone advanced Piccirillo to second on a sacrifice bunt.  Cass Stuart reached base after being hit by a pitch and a fielder's choice left the Chants with runners on first and second with two down.  Sarah Maples loaded the bases after reaching first on a Sacred Heart error, allowing Stacy Snellings to send Stuart home on a single through the left side, giving the Chants a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Sacred Heart answered back after Taylor Froelich sent a ball over the left field fence, tying the game at one.

The game remained tied until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Pioneers took a 2-1 lead.  Froelich picked up a lead-off walk, but was thrown out on Courtney Lee's fielder's choice.  Edwards put another Pioneer on base, walking Liz Tsipouras to put runners on first and second with two outs.  Adrian Fitzsimon got her only hit of the game at a clutch time, driving in Lee and giving Sacred Heart the late lead.

In a must-score situation in the top of the seventh, Coastal showed its toughness as Stuart reached first on a hit by pitch, putting the tying run on base with no outs.  Stuart advanced to second on a passed ball, but stayed at second after Ballard lined out to the third baseman. Maples recorded her second hit of the ball game, sending Stuart home and tying the game 2-2.  Snellings followed with a hit through the left side and Jazmin Daigle drove in what would be the game winning run with two outs, making it a 3-2 Coastal lead.

Sacred Heart had a final shot to stay in the game, batting in the home slot.  Edwards made things interesting by walking the lead-off batter and putting the tying run on base.  Senior pitcher Ashley Frederick came into relieve Edwards, and hit her first batter. From there, she went to work, forcing the Pioneers to either ground out or pop up for their three final outs, earning her first save of the season.

Coastal Carolina takes a day off before returning to the field to take on Elon in a doubleheader Tuesday, March 23 at the Coastal Carolina Softball Field.  The first game is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.