CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina University softball team split the final day of the CCU Softball Tournament, defeating St. John's 15-2 in game one before dropping a hard-fought 7-3 11-inning game against Kent State in the final game of the tournament. The Chanticleers finished the tournament going 2-2 and are now 16-17 on the season.
Against St. John's in the first game, the Chanticleers recorded 15 runs on 13 hits in a 15-2 win over the Red Storm. Cass Stuart was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate and Alyssa Tornatore also went 2-for-2, scoring six runs between the two of them.
Katelin Edwards got the start in the circle for Coastal, allowing just two hits and striking out four while improving to 7-6 on the season. Megan Johnson pitched in relief, giving up two runs on one hit.
After the first inning, it looked liked it was going to be a pitcher's duel between Edwards and St. John's Kat Lawrence, but the Coastal bats came alive in the second inning, scoring 10 runs on seven hits. Sarah Maples led off the second with a walk and Olivia Piccirillo advanced her to second after grounding out. Stuart followed with a single to the third baseman and Mecaela Ballard loaded the bases with a single to right field. Stacy Snellings walked to bring in a run, giving Coastal a 1-0 lead and forcing St. John's to make a pitching change. Following the pitching change, Tornatore singled through the left side, scoring Stuart, and Jazmin Daigle recorded her first hit of the game with a hit through the infield, giving the Chants a 3-0 lead. Cacia Pierre brought in the fourth run off a sacrifice fly, followed by Michelle Evans tallying her fifth home run of the season, this one a grand slam to make it 7-0. With two outs, Coastal kept swinging as Maples singled down the left field line and Piccirillo reached base on a throwing error by the short stop, sending Maples to third. Stuart cleared the bases with her first career blast over the right center field fence, pushing the lead to 10-0.
Coastal Carolina added another run in the third after Daigle singled up the middle, sending Tornatore home, who had drawn a walk earlier in the inning.
The Red Storm remained scoreless in the first three innings and in the fourth, the Chanticleers scored their final four runs. With two outs, Stuart recorded her final hit of the game and Ballard followed with a single, putting runners on first and third. Snellings loaded the bases for the second time of the game with a walk and Tornatore singled up the middle, driving in two runs to bring the lead to 13-0. Daigle brought across the 14th run and Pierre singled through the right side, scoring the final run of the game.
In the bottom of the fifth, St. John's scored its only runs of the game to cut the lead to 15-2.
In the nightcap against Kent State, the Golden Flashes took the lead early in the first after Jessica Carmichael's home run to right-center field drove in two runs and capped off a three-run inning for the visitors.
The Chants finally started to wear down Danielle Abernathy in the fourth after Snellings was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Daigle followed her with a blast over the center field fence, putting Coastal down one run at 3-2. Coastal threatened to tie the game by loading the bases, but was unable to come up with a clutch hit, stranding three runners.
Down one run in the bottom of the seventh, the Chanticleers rallied back to tie the game 3-3 after Tornatore led off the inning with a single to left field. Ballard advanced Tornatore to second with a sacrifice bunt and Snellings came up with a timely hit, doubling to left center, scoring Tornatore and tying the game.
The game would remain scoreless until the 11th inning when Clare Sullivan hit a three-run home run, scoring Sarah Starr, who was put on second by the international tie-breaker run and Amy Hair, who was hit by a pitch. The Golden Flashes did not stop there, scoring another run to give Kent State a 7-3 advantage. In the do-or-die situation, Coastal could not come up with the clutch hits, stranding two runners.
Ashley Frederick pitched her 15th complete game against the Golden Flashes for the Chants, allowing seven runs on six hits and striking out eight. Frederick goes to 9-10 on the season after her 11-inning outing.
Coastal opens up Big South Conference play on Wednesday, March 31, facing Charleston Southern in a doubleheader. The first game at Coastal Softball Field is slated to begin at 4 p.m.