Lady Chants score sweep of Kickin’ Chicken Classic

The Coastal Carolina softball team concluded the Kickin’ Chicken Classic with a pair of victories over Loyola Chicago Sunday afternoon, posting a 5-1 win in the first game before rallying to a 5-3 decision in the second at Carolina Forest High School.

Morgan Noad hit a three-run home run in the opener, while Kiana Quolas and Kory Hayden hit back-to-back homers in the finale, helping the Chanticleers overcome a 3-0 deficit and notch their fourth straight victory. They improved to 6-8, while Loyola dropped to 1-2.

Quolas and Ashley Bagwell each pitched complete games in the circle to earn the wins. Quolas also totaled four hits and five RBIs in the two games at the plate.

Loyola scored three runs off of Bagwell (4-2) in the first inning – two of them on a home run by Brie Pasquale – but the junior righthander limited the Ramblers to just one hit after that. She struck out eight and walked three.

The Chants missed out on a couple of chances to score early in the second game against Loyola ace Brittany Gardner, but finally struck for four runs in top of the fifth inning to take the lead. Noad drew a leadoff walk and Bri Chiusano followed with an infield single before Quolas hit a three-run homer to left to tie the game. Two pitches later, Hayden drove a 1-0 pitch over the fence in center for her fourth of the season and third in four games.

Coastal added an insurance run in the sixth on a walk, singles by Noad and Chiusano and a sacrifice fly by Quolas. Chiusano and Quolas each had two of the team’s six hits in the game.

Noad and the rest of the bottom of the Chants lineup also provided the Chants with offense in the first game. With two outs in the second inning, Jessie Winans walked, Sara Rasley singled to left and Noad hammered a 2-2 pitch from Loyola freshman Ashley Rogers over the center field fence for a 3-0 Coastal lead.

Loyola got on the board in the fourth inning on a home run by third baseman Lauren Moore, but the Chanticleers tacked on two more runs in the sixth.  Following a walk and a fielder’s choice, Winans hit a bloop double to right. Rasley then laid down a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher and Brooke Donovan slid in ahead of the tag to score from third. Quolas capped the scoring with a two-out RBI single to right.

Noad went 2-for-2 in the game, while Rasley went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Quolas added two hits for Coastal, which totaled nine off of two Loyola pitchers. The six through nine hitters in the Chants’ lineup scored all five runs.

Quolas (2-4) scattered five hits and struck out four without a walk.

The Chants return to action Friday, March 1 when they take on Drexel and the University at Albany in the Coastal Carolina Invitational. The Drexel game is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. Western Carolina and Wichita State are also in the tournament field.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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