Hayden homers her way into record books in CCU sweep

ccusoft-haydentrotKory Hayden tied the Big South Conference’s all-time home run record and the Coastal Carolina softball team swept a doubleheader against UNC Wilmington on Tuesday, rolling to a 10-2 five-inning win in the opener and taking a 2-0 decision in the nightcap.

Kelsey Dominik tossed a three-hit shutout in the second game and the Chanticleers have now won 10 of their last 12 contests overall to improve to 23-17 on the season.

Hayden hit a two-run homer in fifth inning of the first game, her 10th of the season and 58th of her career, equaling the total of Liberty’s Jessica Moore from 2005-07. The senior totaled four hits in the two games, including a 3 for 3 performance in the second.

Coastal jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning of the opening game. Bri Chiusano drew a leadoff walk, stole second and advanced to third on the first of seven illegal pitches by UNC Wilmington hurler Casey Rowland. Chiusano then scored when Kiana Quolas lined an RBI single down the right-field line. Quolas moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hayden and came home after two illegal pitches.

The Chants then scored three more times in the second inning without a hit, taking advantage of three walks and four illegal pitches.

UNC Wilmington (15-18) used four of their six hits in the game to score their lone runs of the day in the fourth inning before the Chants secured their 12th run-rule win of the season with a five-run fifth. Chiusano started it with an infield single, Quolas reached on an error after her sacrifice bunt and Chiusano scored on a throwing error following a steal by pinchrunner Devon Steiner to make it 6-2. Hayden then hit a 3-1 pitch over the fence in left-center for the record equalizer.

Morgan Noad and Amanda Daneker followed the homer with singles and Kelsey Dominik walked to load the bases. Sara Rasley then hit a two-run single off the third base bag to finish off the game. Noad had two of Coastal’s seven hits in the game.

Quolas (12-10)pitched the first four innings to notch the win, the 85th of her career to take over fifth place alone in Big South history. She allowed six hits, striking out three and walking one. Mackenzie Conrad worked a perfect fifth inning.

Dominik led the way in the second game, scattering an infield single in the third, a single to shallow right in the fourth and a one-out double in the seventh. She got consecutive groundouts to end the game, including a nice play by shortstop Sara Rasley on a ball up the middle for the final out to preserve the shutout and cap a strong defensive day for the Chants. Dominik (10-5) struck out two and walked one in recording her fifth complete-game shutout of the season.

Offensively, Coastal recorded four hits through the first three innings before breaking through in the fifth for the two runs on four hits. Kailey Mellen started it with a one-out single off the glove of the first baseman, Chiusano beat out a chopper to the shortstop and Quolas followed with an RBI single back up the middle to make it 1-0. After Hayden singled to right, Noad plated Chiusano with a sacrifice fly to right-center.

Along with Hayden’s three hits, Quolas added two for the Chants, who totaled eight in the game.

Coastal, which has won eight straight conference games, will return to Big South play this weekend as it hosts Radford for a three-game series. Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled for a noon start, with the first game airing on ESPNU.

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