Lady Chants hit five homers to close out home slate

ccusoft-noadPlaying its final home game of the regular season on Saturday, the Coastal Carolina softball team went out with a bang, smashing five home runs, including two each by Morgan Noad and Amanda Daneker, en route to an 8-2 victory over Longwood that completed a three-game sweep of the series.

Noad and Daneker hit back-to-back shots twice in the game, while Brooke Donovan added a third homer in a four-run third inning that propelled the Chanticleers (33-13, 15-3) to the victory. Coastal has now beaten Longwood (31-11, 14-6) six straight times since the Lancers joined the Big South Conference last year. The five home runs in the game are the most for Coastal since it accomplished the feat last April at Charleston Southern.

Noad went 3 for 4 at the plate, also adding a double, while Daneker had two hits and three RBIs. Sara Rasley also had two hits for the Chants, who totaled 11 against Longwood pitchers Libby Morris and Elizabeth McCarthy, with seven of them going for extra bases.

Kiana Quolas (21-5) went the distance for her 24th complete game of the season and 72nd of her career, third-most in program history. She battled to limit the Lancers to just the two runs on seven hits, while striking out nine and walking seven – two of them intentional.

Megan Baltzell gave Longwood an early 1-0 lead with a two-out home run in the first inning, her eighth of the season and first hit of the series.

Coastal got two-out doubles by Noad and Rasley in both the first and second innings, but did not score until the home run explosion began with two outs in the third. They strung together four straight hits against Morris, with three of them leaving the stadium. Noad, who had just missed homering in the first when her double hit the top of the fence in left-center, this time easily cleared the fence in left to tie the game at 1-1.

Daneker then hit a 3-2 pitch out to right-center to put the Chanticleers in front. After Kory Hayden singled past the diving shortstop on the first pitch of her at-bat, Donovan smashed a two-run shot over the fence in right. The three homers came in a span of 11 pitches from Morris, who was relieved by McCarthy after Donovan’s third homer of the year.

Quolas worked around an error in the fourth and two walks in the fifth before the Chants added three more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Noad homered on the first pitch of the inning from McCarthy, this one to right field and her 12th of the year. Daneker again provided an encore, hitting her sixth of the season over the fence in center. It was the first career multi-home run games for both players. An RBI single by Desiree Zaragoza that followed a pair of walks made it 7-1.

Longwood loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the sixth on two singles and a walk, but Quolas only allowed the Lancers to score one. With two outs, the bases still full and Baltzell on deck, the junior right-hander got a strikeout to end the inning. Longwood had at least one batter reach base in all seven innings, but Quolas stranded 11 runners, including at least two in each of the last four frames.

The Chants then capped the scoring on Daneker’s sacrifice fly to shallow right that scored Courtney Howell, who had reached on a wild pitch, went to second on another one and advanced to third on a groundout by Noad.

Morris suffered the loss for Longwood, allowing the four run on six hits in 2 2-3 innings.

Coastal improved to 28-7 at home on the season, including a perfect 12-0 in the conference. The Chanticleers will now head out on the road for six straight games to finish out the season, starting with a three-game series Radford on Tuesday and Wednesday. Radford now sits in second place with an 11-4 conference record.

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