Lady Chants record season tripped up by Lady Tar Heels

Coastal Carolina ends its superb season with a 44-19 record, which ties the CCU all-time mark for wins in a single season. Additionally, the Chanticleers won the program’s first Big South title since the 2006 season, made its first NCAA Regional since 2006 and won its first NCAA Regional game since 2000.

North Carolina (43-14) leadoff batter Kelli Wheeler homered on Kiana Quolas’ fifth pitch of the game to give North Carolina an early 1-0 lead. Amy Nece followed with a bunt single and advance to second on a wild pitch before she was drove home by a single off the bat of Ally Blake. Haleigh Dickey then reached on a fielder’s choice. A wild pitch moved both Blake and Dickey into scoring position. Blake would score on an RBI single by Constance Orr and Dickey via a Jordan Scarboro line drive to left-center, making the score 4-0 after half an inning of play.

After sitting the Chants down in order in the bottom of the first, North Carolina added another run in the top of the second. Nece drew a one-out walk and stole second to put herself in scoring position with Amber Parrish at the plate. Parrish delivered Nece with a double to the gap in left, putting the Tar Heels in front 5-0.

Chelsea Pineda picked up Coastal’s first hit of the game with a two-out double down the left field line in the second inning. Kelsey McNaughton was inserted to run for Pineda; however, she would be stranded at second as Jazmin Daigle grounded back to the pitcher for the final out of the inning.

The pitchers took charge over the third and fourth innings, allowing no runs and only a single base runner each.

The Chanticleers broke through on the scoreboard in the fifth with two runs to cut UNC’s lead to 5-2. Cacia Pierre led off the frame with a sharp single to left. Tamara Hawkins, inserted to pinch run for Pierre, moved to second on a single through the right side by Daigle. Jessie Winans walked to load the bases for Maples. The senior made the most of her bases-loaded opportunity as she smacked a high-bouncing single to second that was mishandled by the Tar Heel second baseman to score both Hawkins and Daigle.

Kory Hayden brought Coastal a run closer to the Tar Heels in the sixth with her 15th blast of the season. The co-Big South Freshman of the Year was 1-for-6 in the Regional prior to the no-doubter down the left field line. Hayden is now tied for second in the CCU annuals for most home runs in a single season.

Lori Spingola (33-11) allowed seven hits and three earned runs, while striking out four to earn the win. Quolas (24-11) allowed five runs on nine hits to take the loss.

Maples and Pierre led Coastal at the plate with each picking up two hits. Scarboro went 3-for-3 with an RBI to pace North Carolina.

The game marked the conclusion of the careers of seniors Chelsea Pineda, Sarah Maples and Stacy Snellings.

Coastal Carolina Postseason Tournament History
1992 – National Invitation Championship [Macomb, Ill.] (0-4)
1998 – NCAA Lincoln Regional (0-2)
2000 – NCAA Tempe Regional (2-2)
2001 – NCAA Los Angeles Regional (0-2)
2006 – NCAA Athens Regional (0-2)
2012 – NCAA Athens Regional (1-2)

 

Photo by Joel Beachum

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