Coastal Carolina softball splits with Presbyterian

Conway, SC - From Coastal Carolina University

CONWAY, S.C.- The Coastal Carolina University softball team split against Presbyterian in the first day of the three-game Big South Conference series, falling 6-2 in eight innings in the first game but picking up the win in the nightcap, 4-2, at the Coastal Carolina Softball Field on Saturday, April 24.  The Chanticleers move to 22-25 overall and 3-8 in the Big South while the Blue Hose go to 18-23 and 2-12 in the league.

The Chants started the first game with lead-off batter Ashley Pisone knocking a home run over the left-center field fence, giving Coastal an early 1-0 lead. Michelle Evans kept things going as she hit a single down the right field line, bringing home Sarah Maples, who was walked earlier, to finish the inning ahead 2-0.

In the top of the third inning, pitcher Katelin Edwards found herself in a jam loading the bases by walking two and giving up a single, before walking in Brittany Howell to give Presbyterian their first run of the game. With the bases still loaded, Taylor Staten grounded out to the third baseman, but drove in Amanda Miller to tie the game up at 2-2.

Both teams took a defensive stance for the remainder of regulation innings before Presbyterian put the pressure on Edwards in the top of the eighth. Katie Anderson earned a single off a bunt to reach first on a fielder's choice, while allowing Staten to proceed to third, who was later driven home by Leslie Hensley's double, giving the Blue Hose their first lead of the game, 3-2.  Edwards was forced into a jam again and walked Rachel Hopper with the bases loaded, bringing home Becca Caldwell to go up 4-2.  The Blue Hose did not stop there as Tera Powell hit a single to right center, bringing in Kristen Handy and Howell, putting the Hose up 6-2 to take the first game.

Despite her rough start, the Blue Hoses' Leslie Hensley allowed two runs on six hits, with four strikeouts. On the losing side, Edwards allowed six runs on eight hits, with six strikeouts and went to 10-9 on the season. Megan Johnson relieved Edwards for one batter at the end of the game.

The Blue Hose began the second game like the Chants began the first with a Staten home run in the top of the first, giving the Blue Hose a 1-0 lead.

The Chanticleers responded in the bottom of the first with Maples singling to the shortstop, beating the ball to first. Maples then advanced on a steal, illegal pitch and scored on a wild pitch, tying the game 1-1. Evans drew a walk and walks by Stacy Snellings and Alyssa Tornatore got Evans to around the bases and scored on an illegal pitch, giving the Chanticleers a 2-1 lead.

The next inning was quiet until Jazmin Daigle hit the ball over the left center field fence, her seventh dinger of the season and gave Coastal a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third. The Chants did not stop there as starting pitcher Ashley Frederick had her first career hit, which also happened to be a solo home run over right center field, building a 4-1 lead for the Chanticleers after the fourth inning.

The Blue Hose responded to the Chanticleer home runs, with Hensley hitting one of her own out to left field in the bottom of the fifth, cutting the Coastal lead to two at 4-2.

Frederick finished the game with out allowing any more runs scored to earn her 12th win of the season.  Frederick pitched her 16th complete game, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out nine to tie her season-high strike out total.  Brittany Howell took the loss and fell to 3-7 after allowing two runs on one hit.

The Chanticleers will end the three-game series with the Blue Hose and honor their seniors tomorrow, Sunday, April 25 at 1 p.m.