CCU softball takes two versus App State to end 2021 regular season
Coastal hits five home runs in the doubleheader season finale
BOONE, N.C. – The Coastal Carolina softball team ended the regular season on Friday afternoon as they rolled past the Appalachian State Mountaineers with a sweep at Swyassink/Lloyd Family Stadium behind strong pitching and timely hitting.
In the pair of victories, the Chanticleers improved to 9-15 in Sun Belt Conference play and 21-23 overall. The Mountaineers dropped to 8-12 in conference and 26-17 overall.
CCU 8, APP 0 (Game 1)
Led by solid pitching from senior Kaitlin Beasley-Polko and four home runs from the bottom of the Chanticleers’ batting order, Riley Zana (2), Mackenzie Beyer (1), and Taylor Sweigart, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers earned the game one victory, 8-0.
Beasley-Polko earned her 10th victory of the season with her first career complete-game one-hitter.
The Leonardtown, Md., native didn’t allow a hit until the bottom of the fourth off the bat of Mary Pierce Barnes.
In the top of the third inning, a pair of Coastal seniors assisted Beasley-Polko with an early 1-0 advantage. Sweigart led off the frame with a double into left-center, followed by a Makiya Thomas RBI single back up the middle off APP starter Sydney Holland.
After junior Sydney Guess collected her second double in the bottom of the fourth off Holland, she came around to score two batters later on Mary Sobataka’s first career sacrifice fly to put CCU up 2-0.
The Chanticleer’s lineup exploded for four home runs over the final two innings of play that gave them the 8-0 victory.
In the top of the sixth, after another hit by Guess, freshman Riley Zana connected with her first career home run, and two batters later, Sweigart hit her fourth home run of the season, tying a career-high to give CCU a 5-0 lead.
Just an inning later, with one out, junior Beyer hit her league-leading 10th long ball. As play resumed, Coastal started another rally with a walk to senior Courtney Dean. Zana put the finishing touches on the Chanticleer victory with her second home run and her fourth run batted in of game one.
The sixth, seventh, and ninth hitters combined to go 8-for-10 in the win for CCU. Guess and Zana had a career-high three hits, while Sweigart tallied two.
It was the first time this season the Coastal batting order hit four home runs in a game and the first time since March 6, 2020, in the 7-2 defeat of the No. 8 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.
Sydni Holland dropped to 7-6 for APP as she allowed four runs on nine hits, three walks while striking out one batter.
CCU 12 APP 3 F/6 (Game 2)
In game two, Sophomore pitcher Raelee Brabham pitched her third complete game of the season and earned her sixth victory. The Moncks Corner, S.C., native gave up seven hits over six innings, allowed three runs, two earned while tying her season-high with seven strikeouts.
The CCU bats continued what they started in game one as they busted out with 11 hits, including a homer and a pair of doubles. The Chanticleers scored 12 times in the final three innings of play to defeat App State 12-3 via the mercy rule.
The Mountaineers got to Brabham with a run apiece in the second and third innings.
In the bottom of the second, Mary Pierce Barnes doubled and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Taylor Thorp. Keri White hit her fourth of the season to put APP ahead by the score of 2-0 in the third.
However, that was the last lead the Mountaineers would hold in game two.
The Chants scored three times in the top of the fourth on two Appalachian State errors. Coastal broke open the game in the fifth with six runs on six hits as they sent nine batters to the plate. Makiya Thomas, Abbey Montoya, Mackenzie Beyer, Riley Zana, Mary Sobataka, and Taylor Sweigart each had a hit in the inning for CCU.
In the ensuing inning, Beyer capped off the blowout victory for Coastal Carolina with her league-leading 11th home run of the season and second hit of game two.
The Cranston, R.I., native led batters in game two with three RBIs in the nine-run victory.
Along with Beyer, Kayla Rosado, and Thomas collected two hits apiece in the win. It was the 19th time this season that Thomas added a multi-hit game to her ledger.
Delani Buckner dropped 4-4 on the season for APP as she allowed five runs, two earned, one walk, five hits while striking out three.
Coastal will now await the final Sun Belt games to wrap up on Saturday evening to officially know their seed and opponent in next weekend’s 2021 Sun Belt Conference Softball Championship tournament.
The conference tournament will kick off on Tuesday, May 11, at Troy University, with the first of two play-in games set to begin at 11 a.m. ET.
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