CCU softball advances in Big South Softball Championship

Conway, SC - From Coastal Carolina University:

CONWAY, SC –No. 6 Coastal Carolina upset No. 4 Gardner-Webb 6-4, in the seventh game of the 2010 Big South Softball Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting Thursday at Coastal Carolina Softball Field in Conway.

The Chanticleer's will advance to face the No. 5 Charleston Southern Buccaneers at 4:30 later Friday evening, while the Bulldog's ended their season with a 22-32 record.

After two and a half blank innings to start the game, the Bulldogs were the first to get on the board in the bottom of the third as Jane Savage singled up the middle. Savage was advanced around the bases on a Christa Fullwood walk and a fly-out. Mandy Ward singled to centerfield, bringing in Savage and giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs didn't stop there as Hutchinson hit up the middle, advancing Fullwood to home to make it 2-0 to finish the inning.

The Chanticleers were relatively quiet on offense until the top of the fifth when Mecaela Ballard, Jazmin Daigle and Cacia Pierre were all walked, giving Stacy Snellings the chance to work with loaded bases. The Snellings did just that as she singled to left field, bringing both Ballard and Daigle home to tie the game at two apiece.

The Chants put the pressure on the Bulldogs in the top of the sixth as Alyssa Tornatore reached first on a fielder's choice, then stole second. The Chanticleers took the lead for the first time in the game as Ballard singled to left field, scoring Tornatore, 3-2.

In the top of the sixth, Daigle got the offense going some more for the Chants as she hit a single down the left field line and reached second on a sacrifice bunt. Snellings brought Daigle home with a single to right centerfield, giving Coastal a 4-2 lead. Michelle Evans topped it all off as she knocked a homer out of left centerfield, scoring Snellings and giving the Chanticleers a comfy 6-2 lead.

It was now or never in the seventh inning for the Bulldogs, but their backs were against the wall from the start of the inning as they got two outs. The Bulldogs got into scoring position as Jane Savage hit a double to left field, Fullwood was walked next and both advanced on a wild pitch to third and second. Savage was brought home by a Morenus single up the middle that closed the gap 6-3. Fullwood made it 6-4, as she scored off of a Jessica Milligan single. The Chanticleers defense and relief pitcher Kaitlin Edwards prevented the Bulldogs from causing anymore damage to pull out the win.

Ashley Frederick earned the win for the Chants as she allowed eight hit, four runs and striking out two. Edwards got a save as she pitched 0.1 inning not allowing a hit. Evans went a perfect 3-for-3 on the day, hitting her seventh homerun of the season and second of the tournament and collecting two runs batted in.

Ballard and Tornatore both went 2-for-3, with Ballard earning one RBI. Snellings had a game-high three RBI's by going 2-for-4 from the plate and scoring one run.

For the Bulldogs Alison Coffey took the loss as she pitched 0.1 innings, allowing one hit, and the deciding run. Cindy Boomhower started the game, allowing two runs on six hits in 5.1 innings pitched. Christina Murray ended the game, allowing three runs on four hits, pitching 1.1 innings.

Leading the Bulldogs offensively was Jane Savage, who went 2-for-3 on the day, scoring two runs. Mandy Ward was also 2-for-4 with two RBI'S and Lindsea Hutchinson went 2-for-4, with one RBI.