Lady Chants locked, loaded for NCAA Athens Regional

Coastal returns to NCAA postseason play this weekend, marking its first time since 2006 and fifth time in school history. The Chanticleers travel to Athens, Ga., to play the No. 10 national seed Georgia on Friday at 5 p.m. at Jack Turner Stadium as part of the NCAA Athens Regional, which is also where the Chants competed in 2006.

Coastal is the No. 4 seed in the tournament, while UGA is the No. 1 seed. Prior to the CCU-UGA contest, third seed Georgia Southern faces second seed North Carolina at 2:30 p.m. Coastal and Georgia Southern reached the NCAA Regionals by winning their respective conferences, while Georgia and North Carolina received at large bids.

The Chanticleers, which are 43-18, head into the tournament needing two wins to break the school-record for victories that was set when the 1994 squad posted 44 wins.

Coastal enters the tournament with a .274 batting average, .442 slugging percentage and a .285 on base percentage. The Chants have recorded 261 runs and 58 home runs on the season, while they have been walked 227 times. Coastal has been successful on 52-of-69 stolen base attempts.

Kory Hayden, the Big South Co-Freshman of the Year, leads the team in hitting with a .382, slugging percentage (.713), on base percentage (.490), home runs (14), RBI (44) and being walked (35). Sarah Maples, the Big South Tournament MVP, has a team high 37 runs and she has gone 13-for-14 on stolen base attempts.

Kiana Quolas, a first team All-Big South pick, and Ashley Bagwell have both performed well from the circle this season for the Chants. Quolas has a 24-9 record and a 1.57 ERA in 204.1 innings pitched. She has posted 147 strikeouts, walked 43 and given up 56 runs. Bagwell has recorded 153 strikeouts, 43 walks, allowed 59 runs and six home runs in 164.2 innings pitched, as she enters the NCAA Athens Regional with a 15-8 record.

Georgia is making its 11th tournament appearance and holds a 40-20 overall record. The Bulldogs advanced to the Women’s College World Series Final Four in 2009 and 2010. Georgia has a .271 batting average, a .449 slugging percentage and a .382 on base percentage. On the season they have scored 281 runs, 57 home runs and have been walked 193 times. Heading into the tournament they have gone 88-for-106 on stolen base attempts.

Kristyn Sandberg has a team-leading .357 batting average along with a .837 slugging percentage, .548 on base percentage, 18 home runs and 48 RBI. Tess Sito is leading the Bulldogs in runs (44) and is tied with Niaja Griffin in stolen base attempts as both have gone 22-for-26.

Erin Arevalo leads the Bulldogs from the rubber with a 23-7 record. She has a 1.45 ERA and has struck out 240 batters, while walking 43 and giving up 52 runs, as well as 13 home runs.

The winner of the Coastal vs. UGA game plays the winner of the UNC/Georgia Southern game on Saturday, May 19 at noon, while the losers of the two games play at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

2012 Athens Regional Schedule

Friday, May 18
Game 1: No. 3 Georgia Southern vs, No. 2 North Carolina  2:30 p.m.
Game 2: No. 4 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 1 Georgia            5:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 19
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2                    Noon
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2                        2:30 p.m.
Game 5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3                      5 p.m.

Sunday, May 20
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5                     Noon
Game 7: (if necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6  2:30 p.m.

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