Lady Chants make history with doubleheader sweep

ccusoft-noadhomerMorgan Noad hit two home runs to break the Coastal Carolina single-season home run record and spark the Chanticleers to an epic 9-8 comeback victory in eight innings Saturday evening that finished off a doubleheader sweep of Presbyterian.

After taking the first game 4-0, the Chanticleers trailed 8-0 in the nightcap before Noad capped a six-run fifth inning with a grand slam and tied it up with a solo shot in the seventh. Kiana Quolas then hit an RBI single to bring home Bri Chiusano with the winning run in the eighth and extend Coastal’s home conference game winning streak to 26 straight games dating back to 2013.

Noad’s first homer equaled Meagan Johnson’s mark of 20 from 2006, but she was tied only briefly before following up with her 21st in her next at-bat. She also established a new career-high for RBIs in a season, now with 54.

Noad wasn’t the only Chanticleer with special accomplishments on Saturday, though. Kory Hayden walked four times in the day’s first game to tie the program’s career record with 114. She also added a hit in the second game to extend her streak of reaching base to 31 consecutive games. Chiusano, meanwhile, recorded one stolen base in each game to move into a tie for second in Big South history with 110. She also posted a career high with four hits in the second game.

The two wins improved Coastal to 31-21 – its third straight 30-plus win season – and 16-6 in Big South play. Presbyterian fell to 21-21 overall and 9-9 in conference play.

After Kelsey Dominik tossed a two-hitter in the day’s opener, Presbyterian’s offense came alive early in the second game, led by Shelby Petik. She had an RBI double in the first inning, a two-run home run in the third and a three-run homer in the fourth as the Blue Hose built an 8-0 lead.

However, the Chanticleers not only prevented a run-rule loss in the fifth inning, but got back in the game as well, totaling six runs on five hits. Sara Rasley started it all with a single to left, Taylor Harris followed with a pinch-hit bunt single and Chiusano singled to center to load the bases. Quolas then drew an RBI walk, Hayden hit an RBI single to make it 8-2 and Noad crushed her grand slam off the top of the scoreboard in right.

Rasley got CCU within a run when she homered leading off the sixth inning, her career-best ninth of the season. Noad then evened it up to start the seventh, driving one the other way to left-center just far enough to hit off the top of the fence and go over for the record-breaker.

Dominik, who had entered in relief of Mackenzie Conrad to start the sixth inning, pitched around a walk in the top of the eighth, giving Coastal the chance to win it. There were two outs before Chiusano beat out a grounder to third base for a hit and stole second. Quolas then singled back up the middle to center and Chiusano slid in easily as the Chants celebrated.

CCU finished the game with 12 hits off of three Blue Hose pitchers. Chiusano went 4 for 5, while Noad and Rasley each added two hits, with Noad recording the five RBIs.

Dominik pitched three hitless innings of relief with four strikeouts to get her second win of the day, improving to 14-7 on the year.

Dominik’s two-hitter in the opener was her third of the season and her conference-leading sixth shutout. She held the Blue Hose without a hit until a two-out single in the fifth. The other hit was an infield single in the sixth. She had four strikeouts in the complete-game win while pitching around four walks.

Coastal scored the only run it needed in the third inning on a two-out single to left by Amanda Daneker that scored Quolas, who was hit by a pitch and moved to second on Hayden’s second walk of the game.

The Chants then made it 2-0 in the fourth, getting help from a pair of Presbyterian errors on a single play in the fourth as Kailey Mellen scored after reaching on a two-out walk.

Annie Robinson homered over one of the palm trees behind the centerfield fence leading off the bottom of the sixth, her eighth of the season. Mellen then was hit by a pitch and pinchrunner Devon Steiner moved to second on a sacrifice by Chiusano and scored the final run on a fielding error on a grounder to first.

Coastal will conlude the series and play its regular-season finale tomorrow with the start now scheduled for 12 p.m. Prior to first pitch, the Chanticleers will honor their six seniors, four-year players Hayden, Quolas and Rasley, along with Maicie Hahn, Harris and Kasey Oliver.

Photo courtesy of BSC

 

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