CCU’s Witten, Pineda claim Big South diamond awards

Coastal Carolina’ Chelsea Pineda and Rich Witten were named the Big South Conference’s Choice Hotels Softball and Co-Baseball Players of the Week, respectively, on Monday.

Witten, who shares the honor with with Liberty’s Ryan Cordell, posted nine hits and six RBI to lead the Chanticleers to a 4-1 record last week, including a series sweep against VMI to vault the Chanticleers into first place in the Big South Conference. He posted a hit in all five games for Coastal Carolina and went for multi-hit outings against UNC Wilmington on April 10 and VMI on April 15.

In the series finale against the Keydets, Witten went 3-for-4 with a two-run double and a walk-off homer, accounting for all three runs in the 3-2 win to lift Coastal to the series sweep.  He finished the week with six total RBI, a .474 average at the plate and a slugging percentage of .684.

Cordell hit .692 in Liberty’s series win against Winthrop over the weekend. Liberty’s John Niggli was tabbed the league’s Pitcher of the Week.

Coastal Carolina (24-11) will face Virginia Tech Tuesday in Blacksburg, Va., at 5:30 pm. The Hokies are 25-13 and are coming off back-to-back wins over sixth-ranked Miami (Fla.). The Chanticleers and Hokies met on Feb. 25 earlier this season with Virginia Tech claiming a 3-1 win despite CCU starter Josh Conway striking out 10 over seven innings.

Pineda ended the week with a .400 batting average, recording four hits, eight RBI, two home runs and two runs in 10 at-bats helping lead Coastal to a 2-2 record. She also had a .500 on base percentage, a 1.200 slugging percentage, 22 putouts and four assists.

During the seventh inning of the Chanticleers game against Charleston Southern on April 10, Pineda hit her first triple of the season, scoring two runners to pull Coastal within one run of the Buccaneers. She finished the game with one hit and two RBI in three at-bats, while drawing one walk.

Pineda then hit her first grand slam of the season in Coastal’s 5-3 win against Liberty on Saturday, April 14. The grand slam home run gave the Chants the go-ahead lead at 5-2. Pineda ended the game with two hits, four RBI and one run in three at-bats.

Coastal picked up its first back-to-back win over Liberty since 2005 on Saturday with help from Pineda, as she picked up her second home run of the day in the third inning, scoring two RBI to put the score at 5-0 on the way to the Chanticleers 7-2 victory.In the final game against Liberty , Pineda tied her season-high in putouts with 10.

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