CCU’s Hayden hammers her way to Big South HR record

ccusoft-31Kory Hayden set a new Big South all-time home run record while Morgan Noad and Sara Rasley each hit a pair of longballs as the Coastal Carolina softball team swept a doubleheader over Radford with 7-1 and 9-4 victories Saturday afternoon.

Hayden hit her 59th career homer in the sixth inning of the first game to pass Liberty’s Jessica Moore for the all-time mark. The Chanticleer senior won the race to the record over Longwood’s Megan Baltzell, who hit her 58th as a member of the conference on Saturday.

Noad and Rasley both homered in each game as Coastal totaled six on the day, moving their total to 66 for the season, four shy of the school’s all-time record. Noad’s pair gave her 15 for the season and 45 for her career, moving her past Holly Lee into second place in Coastal history behind Hayden.

The Chants (25-17, 11-2) extended their Big South winning streak to 10 games and have 12 victories in their last 14 games overall.

Kiana Quolas recorded her 86th career victory in the opener, moving into a tie for fourth place in Big South history. The complete game was her 95th, sixth-most on the conference’s all-time list.

Coastal scored all of seven of its runs in the first game in their last three turns at bat on four home runs. Annie Robinson got the Chants on the board with a pinch hit, two-run shot with two outs in the fourth. After Kelsey Dominik led off the inning with a double to left-center, Robinson came in to hit a 1-0 pitch over the left-field fence for her sixth of the season.

Noad then led off the fifth with her first of the day to straightaway center. Amanda Daneker followed with a walk before Rasley went to right-center for a two-run shot to make it 5-0.

After Radford (10-22, 5-8) used two hits to score its lone run of the game in the top of the sixth, Quolas led off the bottom of the inning with a single to center and Hayden followed with the record-setting homer, an opposite-field shot over the fence in right.

The Chants totaled 11 hits in the game, with Rasley going 3 for 4 and Noad chipping in two.

Quolas allowed just five hits and the one run, while striking out two. She stranded a runner at second in the first inning, two in the second, got an inning-ending double play by Hayden in the third and kept another runner at second in the fourth to keep the Highlanders off the board until the Coastal offense got going.

In the second game, Coastal overcame two early deficits with seven unanswered runs to pull away. Noad and Daneker each had two of the Chanticleers’ 10 hits, while Dominik went the distance to notch the victory.

Radford took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a CCU error, but the Chants came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Bri Chiusano drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on an RBI double by Hayden, who then advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.

The Highlanders tied the game at 2-2 with a home run in the second and then took a 4-2 edge in the third on two hits and two hit batters.

However, Coastal came back with four in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good. After Hayden walked, Noad crushed one well over the fence in right to tie the game. Daneker then drew another free pass before Rasley’s second two-run homer of the day put the Chants in front 6-4.

CCU then capped the scoring with three runs in the fourth. Quolas and Noad both singled around another walk to Hayden to load the bases. Daneker and Dominik followed with RBI infield hits to the left side and Rasley added a sacrifice fly to plate the final run.

After allowing four hits in the first three innings, Dominik held Radford to just three the rest of the way while totaling five strikeouts in the game.

The teams will wrap up the series game Sunday at 1 p.m. Coastal will then host South Carolina Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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