Coastal Carolina softball remains unbeaten with Saturday sweep

(CCU Athletics)
Published: Feb. 19, 2023 at 10:28 AM EST
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CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina softball team moved to 8-0 overall on the season with a Saturday sweep of Colgate and Drexel on day two at the Battle of the Beach Tournament at St. John Stadium.

In the two wins on Saturday, the Chanticleers outscored their opponents 15-3 overall to add to their best start in program history.

Game 1: Coastal Carolina 4, Colgate 1

The Chants continued their winning ways with a 4-1 win over Colgate, as starting pitcher Raelee Brabham (4-0) struck out six hitters over 4.1 innings to move to 4-0 on the season.

Fellow pitcher Nicolette Picone (3) followed Brabham with four strikeouts over 2.2-scoreless innings to register her third save of the year.

The Coastal offense was led by outfielder Diamond Williams (1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBIs, run) with a game-high two RBIs, while designated player Iyanla De Jesus (1-for-3, RBI) and outfielder Indya Smith (1-for-1, BB, RBI, run) added one RBI apiece in the win.

Colgate’s Bailey Misken was handed the loss, as she pitched well but gave up four runs on three hits, three walks, and three strikeouts over 6.0-complete innings.

The two Colgate hits came from the top of the order, as lead-off hitter Rachel Carney (1-for-2, 2 BB, SB) and second-hole hitter Jillian Herbst (1-for-4) each had a single for the game.

Brabham pitched around a walk, a stolen base, and a wild pitch in the top of the first inning, a walk in the second, and two singles in the third to keep the score at 0-0 heading into the bottom of the third inning.

The offense woke up in the third frame, as back-to-back walks to Smith and Keirstin Roose put two runners on with no outs for the top of the order in Williams, who laced a double down the right-field line to score both Chants and put the home team on top 2-0.

Following a sacrifice bunt and a ground out, De Jesus singled down the right-field line to plate Williams and push the lead out to 3-0.

Colgate got one run back in the top of the fourth, as back-to-back walks, a fielder’s choice, and a passed ball allowed pinch runner Bailey Burns to score from third base to spoil the Chants’ shutout bid and cut the lead to 3-1.

However, the Chants got the run back in the bottom half of the inning on an Abbey Montoya single and an RBI ground out by Smith two batters later to put the Chants back on top by three at 4-1 with three innings to play.

Picone entered the game in the top of the fifth and quickly pitched around an error to strand two Colgate runners and keep the score at 4-1.

Game 2: Coastal Carolina 11, Drexel 2 (5 innings)

Game two of the day saw Coastal starting pitcher Mady Volpe go the distance and the offensive break out for 11 runs on 14 hits, including a Riley Zana two-run walk-off home run in a 11-2 five-inning win over Drexel.

Volpe (2-0) picked up her second win of the season, as she allowed just two runs on four hits, one walk, and five strikeouts over 5.0-complete innings.

Offensively, nine different Chants registered a hit on the night, led by two hits apiece from Williams (2-for-2, 2 BB, 2 RBIs, 3 runs), Zana (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs, run), De Jesus (2-for-3, RBI), Montoya (2-for-3, RBI, run, SB), and Smith (2-for-2, SF, RBI).

The loss fell to Drexel’s Lindsay Nelson (0-3), as the starter was roughed up for six runs on seven hits, one walk, two hit batters, and just one strikeout over 2.0 innings.

Drexel’s offense had four players with one hit each, as Kalea Calugay (1-for-3, 2B, run) had a double for the lone extra-base hit for the Dragons, while Grace Abbonizio (1-for-2, RBI) drove in the lone RBI in the loss.

The Dragons got on the scoreboard first in the top of the first inning, as Calugay led off the game with a double, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, and then scored on a wild pitch to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

After Drexel doubled its lead to 2-0 on an Abbonizio RBI single in the top of the second inning, the Chants’ offense answered with a four-run inning in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead for good at 4-2.

Coastal got on the scoreboard with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly from Smith to start the scoring. Roose and Williams followed with back-to-back RBI singles, while Zana capped the scoring with an RBI base hit of her own to give the home team a 4-2 lead.

Following a 1-2-3 inning for Volpe in the top of the third, Coastal added to its lead with a two-run home run from Maddy Jennings in the bottom of the third to push the lead to 6-2.

The Chants scored in each of the next two innings, as De Jesus and Montoya each had an RBI single in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 8-2 before an RBI single from Williams and a two-run home run from Zana in the bottom of the fifth sealed the 11-2 five-inning run-rule win.

The Dragons got just one hit over the third, fourth, and fifth innings and saw that threat ended by a double play in the fourth as Volpe was dominant.

The Chanticleers will wrap up the Battle of the Beach Tournament Sunday at noon ET versus East Carolina.