Lady Chanticleers sweep doubleheader from Winthrop

Morgan Noad hit a two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning to cap the Coastal Carolina softball team’s 8-6 comeback victory over Winthrop Saturday afternoon and give the Chanticleers a sweep of the Big South Conference doubleheader. Coastal won Saturday’s first game 3-1.

The Chanticleers (25-17, 12-4) rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning to extend the game. Jazmin Daigle then drew a leadoff walk against Winthrop reliever Sutton Watson to start the eighth. After a sacrifice by Brooke Donovan moved Daigle to second and a strikeout, Noad hit a 1-1 pitch over the fence in right-center for eventual game-winner.

Kiana Quolas, who had entered in relief of Ashley Bagwell in the fourth, then made short work of the Eagles in the bottom of the eighth. She needed just five pitches to record two groundouts and a popout to clinch the Chants’ first extra-inning win of the season.

Coastal was able to score all three runs in the sixth without a hit, taking advantage of two crucial Winthrop errors. Pinch-hitter Desiree Zaragosa drew a leadoff walk and prompted Winthrop change pitchers. Watson came in and hit Sara Rasley with her first pitch. After a flyout, Jessie Winans was hit by another to load the bases. Bri Chiusano then grounded back to Watson and the pitcher’s throw home was low and got past the catcher, allowing two runs to score and Winans to get to third. Two batters later – with two outs – Eagles shortstop Haley Zuehlke couldn’t handle a grounder off the bat of Kory Hayden and Winans came home with the tying run.

After tossing a complete game win in the opener, Quolas notched the victory in relief to improve to 14-8. She allowed one run on two hits, struck out three and walked two in 4.2 innings. Hayden, Chiusano and Noad each had two of Coastal’s seven hits.

Hayden hit her 13th home run of the season in the first inning and drove in another run with a single in the sixth. Noad singled in the third and scored when Chiusano was tagged out trying to go to second after a single.

Winthrop (20-21, 8-7) struck for five runs on six hits against Ashley Bagwell in the bottom of the third to build a 5-2 advantage. After an error and a single, Kristy Noble hit a three-run homer over the centerfield fence to give the Eagles their first lead of the day. Four more singles and a walk resulted in two more runs.

Bagwell allowed five runs – two of them earned – on eight hits before Quolas took over with one out in the fourth. She struck out three and walked one.

After Hayden’s RBI single in the sixth, the Eagles answered with a run on a hit, a wild pitch and two groundouts to regain the three-run lead.

Quolas pitched a three-hitter and didn’t allow an earned run in the opener. She had five strikeouts without a walk and held the Eagles hitless until the fifth inning.

Coastal will go for the three-game sweep when the series concludes Sunday with a game at 1 p.m.

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